An Illinois Walgreens employee recently went above and beyond to try and prevent a customer from falling victim to a gift card scam.

I'm not sure why, but every time I go to the Walgreens near downtown Rockford it's always an experience.  Last time, the guy behind me had just gotten dumped by his fiancé of four years and told me his whole life story.

Read More: Open Letter To Heartbroken Guy At Rockford Walgreens 

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This time, the customer in front of me was buying $500 in Amazon gift cards.  It definitely wasn't for a gift...

Then, the cashier read the "scam" precaution to the customer before he purchased the gift cards in case he actually was getting scammed.

He didn't wanna hear it and went through with the transaction.  Shoutout to the cashier for doing all she could to stop it!

If you, or someone you know, think you're falling for a scam I want to help prevent this for at least one person.  Here's all you need to know:

How Do Gift Card Scams Work?

"Scammers pretend to be calling from a company or government agency — and threaten victims with fines, bogus payments and fees, or jail time if they don't send them gift cards." [Aura]

After working at the Rockford Police Department for six months, I saw endless scams like this.  People would fork over thousands of dollars because they were told they had a warrant, they needed to bail their kid out of jail, or they'd receive $5,000 if they gave a scammer $500 in gift cards.


Why would scammers want gift cards?

  • Gift cards are almost the same as cash. 
  • Gift cards often can’t be refunded, traced, or disputed.
  • Scammers can easily sell gift cards online. 
  • Gift cards are readily available and easy to buy and sell. 
  • Cards aren’t tied to an individual or account.

Related: Don’t Fall For These 5 Cold-Hearted Romance Scams In Illinois

How to tell if you're a victim of a gift card scam?

  • You're asked to pay in gift cards when the service could take cash, debit, etc.
  • The person who requests the gift cards needs you to do it right away.
  • You're instructed to stay on the phone as you buy the gift cards.
  • Nobody will call and say you need to bail out a friend with gift cards.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, go with your gut feeling!

Related: Top 5 Craziest Scams To Avoid In Illinois 

If you know someone in this situation and it sounds too good to be true, show them this!  It sucks that people have horrible intentions, but there are ways to prevent it - identify these signs first!

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