Peter Macdiarmid,Getty Images
Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

The Wyoming Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons says that while there are a lot of scams these days, there is one sure thing that will tell you something is not legitimate 100 percent of the time.

106.3 NOW FM logo
Get our free mobile app

What is it?

The answer is simple. If someone asks you to pay a supposed debt or obligation with a gift card, they are trying to scam you. That applies to paying a supposed bill, back taxes, a fine, fees to enter a "contest," processing fees to collect a supposed prize (simply asking for money to collect a prize is another red flag by the way), or any other alleged bill or debt. If someone asks you to pay for something with a gift card, they are a con artist.

While not all scams ask for payment via gift card, anytime you are asked to pay a bill that way, it's not legitimate, according to the organization.

AARP Wyoming recently sent out a release on the subject:

''Is it a scam if someone directs you to pay a debt or other obligation with a gift card? The answer is yes – in 100% of cases. But alarmingly, 1 in 4 people surveyed by AARP got this question wrong – at a time when we’re seeing an increase in the use of “payment by gift card” as a scam tactic.

Since 2018, gift cards have been one of the most popular forms of payment requested by criminals according to the Federal Trade Commission. Gift cards are easy to access, virtually untraceable and less likely to raise red flags. As soon as the card numbers are shared with the scammer, the money – and the scammer – disappears.

AARP’s survey also found that one in three US adults have either been asked to pay for some obligation with a gift card or know someone who has, and one in ten have followed through with the request. Help spread the word. Anytime you are directed to pay a debt or other obligation with a gift card, it is a scam.''

More From 106.3 NOW FM