Common gift card scams

Awareness for our customers

There are a variety of scams in which fraudsters try to trick others into paying with gift cards from well-known brands like ours. We want to make sure our customers are aware of some common scam attempts that may involve asking for payment using Gift Cards and the wrongful use of our brand and logos. While the reason for contact may vary, fraudsters follow a common pattern: the victim is contacted by someone with an urgent request for payment, instructing the victim to purchase Gift Cards online or at a nearby retailer. The fraudster then demands the victim to provide the claim code located on the back of the card to the caller.

- Never use Gift Cards for payment outside of Amazon. It is important for you to know that Gift Cards can ONLY be used on after you have redeemed them to your own Amazon account and should not be used to make payments to other businesses or individuals.

- DO NOT provide any gift card details (such as the claim code) to someone you do not know or trust. Once a claim code is provided to a fraudster or scammer, the funds will likely be completely spent before you are able to contact law enforcement or Amazon.

Common scams that may involve gift cards

Unpaid debt scam
You receive an unexpected phone call or unsolicited email to make a payment for taxes, fines, bail money, utility bills, or other unexpected fees. The scammer may claim you owe a past due amount from a miscalculation on your tax return or as part of a recent tax audit and demands immediate payment with an Gift Card to stop court proceedings, arrest or imprisonment; or the scammer may claim that you are owed a tax refund, prize, or rebate but must first make a payment for administrative fees with an Gift Card.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office and asking for money, you should never give out personal information. Report the call to ATO using their Australian Taxation Office webpage.

Online shopping scam
You find a “too-good-to-be-true” price on an item advertised online such as a vehicle, pet, or rental property. The item is often priced far below market value and the seller may claim the need to sell the item quickly because he or she is moving or has experienced another life event that would incite a sense of urgency. The scammer will claim that following a payment for the goods, you will receive the item, and may even send a fake receipt. You are instructed to make a payment using an Gift Card and to provide your claim codes via email, phone.

Note: A legitimate transaction with an seller can only be completed through our checkout page and will never occur off

Computer and mobile device "hacking" scams
You receive a phone call from an individual claiming they are with a telecommunications company or computer company. The individual may state there is a problem with your computer, such as your computer is sending error messages to a server or it has a virus. The fraudster asks you to provide compensation to fix the issue in form of a gift card, credit card, or bank card.

Family emergency scams
You receive an unexpected phone call or unsolicited email from an individual claiming to be a lawyer, law enforcement agent, hospital employee, or other representative for a family member in distress who needs your immediate financial help. You may be told that your family member has been kidnapped, imprisoned, detained, or injured and that a payment must be made to secure their release or medical assistance. Some callers may even try to impersonate your family member. We suggest you attempt to immediately contact your family member directly using a phone number that you know is theirs or contact another relative who can assist you. Always be suspicious of anyone who contacts you and demands money quickly. You may be instructed to purchase Gift Cards to resolve the situation and asked to provide the claim codes by phone, text, or email.

Report fraud or scam