The “Do Me a Favor” Scam

Do me a favor scam

Do me a favor?

We all know, especially as Minnesotans, that it can be pretty easy to pull at our heart strings. It can seem like such a simple request sometimes but we need to be diligent. There are a lot of scammers out there ready to pull those strings to get what they want and they want gift cards. This is a common scam that we see the, “Do me a favor” scam. They will try to get you to do them a solid by buying gift cards and then stealing your money. Gift cards are especially appealing to scammers because they are accessible, hard to track and easily converted to cold hard cash.

What happens?

Typically they will pose as a friend, coworker or boss and will have an urgent request. Here are a couple more things to look for:

  • The scammer might have a story, such as needing the gift cards to give to employees at the next staff meeting.
  • They will typically be too busy or unable to do it themselves.
  • The request could be coming via text, social media or email. Watch out for a spoofed email address or social media account appearing to be someone else.
  • The scammer will ask for specific dollar amount gift cards. Next, they will ask you to send pictures of the front and back of the cards (to get the PIN).
  • From there they will drain the money from the gift card and you are left with absolutely nothing.

What to do

Next time that someone asks you urgently to “do me a favor”, consider the situation and what’s really going on. If it is a “do me a favor” scam then follow the steps below.

  • If the request seems odd, verify directly with the person.
  • If you already bought the gift cards call the card issuer immediately to try to freeze funds.
  • If you end up falling victim to the scam call us or the police.
    • We can help you figure out next steps and the police can help you file a police report.

Learn more about scams and how to report them at the FTC Consumer Advice website

Make sure to stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram as well as our blog to stay up to date on common scams.

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