Attorney General Nessel didn’t ask you for a gift card

Neither did your bank or the power company, even though you might have got a call saying otherwise
AG Nessel posts gift card scam video
Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 3:41 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2022 at 6:25 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Scammers are out in force lately and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning residents to be vigilant. To make her point, she asked her parents for help.

In the video, Nessel explained how gift card scams work by running through a hypothetical situation where her parents receive a phone call from someone claiming to be her while she’s in the room.

Dana Nessel explains how gift card scams work.

The pattern of the scams is similar regardless of the excuse used for contacting the victim. Once a victim is chosen, they are contacted and told something designed to incite an emotional reaction. Then, the target is asked to make a payment through difficult-to-trace means, like sending gift cards.

Related: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel warn residents of romance scams ahead of Valentine’s Day

“Scam artists will call, text or email people trying to get them to buy a gift card and then ask for the gift card number over the phone,” Nessel said. “Remember, gift cards are for gifting, not for paying people. If someone asks for payment using a gift card from Amazon, Target or some other store, it’s a scam. Hang up or delete the message.”

Nessel has released multiple warnings in recent months about scam attempts that use this pattern. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website, or if you have questions call 877-765-8388.

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