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Susan Tompor: Don't do your boss any favors buying gift cards — it's likely a scam

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Home and Consumer News

We've had the "one ring" phone scam, the fake IRS phone calls, the scam that tricks you into thinking that your Social Security number has been connected to some car in Texas that was involved with running drugs across the border.

And now we have the "Can you do me a favor?" scam.

Sure, you're thinking "Hey, I know quite a few folks who ask for favors and run that scam everyday."

But trust us, this one has a new twist.

"Usually, it starts with an email," said Amy Nofziger, AARP fraud expert.

The email could look like it's from your boss, maybe your minister or pastor, maybe the principal of your school.

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A 31-year-old woman who had just started a job in April didn't think twice when she got an email from her boss asking for help in early May.

"My boss was on vacation but he said he was going to be working remote," said the Florida woman, who asked that her name not be used because she didn't want more emails from scammers.

She works at a company that sells high-end appliances and her job often involves handling different projects for her boss.

So she wasn't taken aback when he sent an email and asked her to buy four $500 gift cards to be used as prizes for employees. And she received other emails supposedly from her boss during the process.


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