A1 Security Crime of the Week

Every year thousands of Canadians are scammed out of millions of dollars through various scams carried out by telephone, text, email or social media sites.

Sarnia Police has recently received reports involving the gift card scam.

Scammers will make you believe the matter is urgent and use scare tactics to convince you. They will usually tell you which gift cards to buy and which store to purchase them from, often staying on the phone with you while you drive to the store. They may tell you that you have won something but are required to pay the taxes in the form of gift cards.


The moment you receive a call from someone wanting payment in the form of gift cards, it’s a scam. No legitimate business or government agency will ever ask for payment with gift cards.

In Canada there is no tax on lottery or prize winnings of any kind. Did you even enter to win that prize? You can’t win a prize from a draw you didn’t enter.

Gift cards often can’t be refunded, traced, or disputed. Retailers can rarely trace gift cards, and it’s difficult for consumers to prove they weren’t the ones who used them. Scammers know that as soon as a gift balance is compromised, the money is theirs.

If someone asks you to pay them with gift cards:

  • Report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or call 1-888-495-8501.
  • Report it even if you didn’t pay. Your report helps law enforcement stop scams.
  • If you’ve lost money, report it to your local police service.


Sarnia Lambton Crime Stoppers wants everyone to stay safe this holiday season.

If you have information on any crime and wish to remain anonymous call Sarnia Lambton Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or go on line at www.p3tips.com.

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