Increase in gift card fraud in Washington County

This is an example of the Spectrum Internet fraud.
This is an example of the Spectrum Internet fraud.(Washington County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 6:03 PM CST
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WASHINGTON COUNTY Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Officials in Washington County are seeing a spike in fraud involving gift cards.

According to deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, this scam is done in a few ways. The person allegedly contacts the victim and gives them different stories as to why they need the money, and the victim has to pay them using gift cards purchased at Walmart, Target, CVS, etc.

Once the victim has loaded the cards with money, WCSO says the scammer will request the number from the cards and remove the funds.

Deputies say the most recent case involved PayPal, where the victim reported an email from the site stating they needed to speak to the victim about their account. Once on the phone, they told the victim they noticed a charge for Bitcoin for 80 dollars.

When the victim disputed the charge, they said the money could be credited back, then requested bank account information to do so. After the call, the victim was contacted again, and told they accidentally credited $8,000 to the account and would need the victim to return the money using gift cards.

The second fraud case is being sent out using USPS. A letter is sent out claiming to be from Spectrum Internet, stating, “Thank you for choosing Spectrum! This message is a confirmation of recent changes to your account. Your email and contact phone number were changed. If you did not request these changes, please have the primary account holder contact a Spectrum representative at 1-855-70-SPECTRUM (1-855-707-7328).

Officials say it is unknown at this time what will be requested from the Spectrum scam as the potential victim was able to catch that the phone number was incorrect, and his account was not tampered with.