Police warn about gift card ‘grant’ scam on Facebook

A display of gift cards. December 22, 2008. (Photo by arvind grover from flickr)

Chatham-Kent police are reminding the public to be on the lookout for scams on social media after a local man was reportedly defrauded of $700 last week.

Police said through their investigation, they learned that the man had applied for a grant that was advertised on Facebook and was then contacted by someone claiming to be an “agent” overseeing the grant process.

The “agent” told the man that he had been awarded the grant, but in order to receive the money, he needed to provide $700 in gift cards to cover the tax associated with the grant.

Officers said the man then purchased the gift cards and sent the information to the “agent” as requested, even though a cashier tried to warn him that he may be getting scammed.

In order to prevent more people from falling victim to similar scams, police are reminding you that payment using gift cards is a common scam technique and that you should be wary of anyone who asks for payments via gift cards or Bitcoin.

You can find more information about scams and fraud by visiting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website by clicking here.