Has your supervisor ever sent you an email asking for a favor? Is your supervisor expecting gift cards from you to cover the cost of an upcoming office party? Before you go out and pay up, ask yourself: is that truly your boss? It can be a scam artist attempting to steal your money.
Here's how it might unfold. The scammer sends you an email pretending to be your boss, either by hacking into their account or using a falsified email address. They then fabricate a narrative about needing your assistance with something, such as a corporate event, an office surprise party, or simply a straightforward errand. They'll ask you for assistance by paying them with gift cards, promising to reimburse you later, whatever the reason. However, the money is forfeited the moment the gift card number and PIN are given.
If your employer sends you an unexpected email requesting assistance in this manner:
Don't use gift cards as payment for anything. Gift cards are for gifts, not for payments. It's a scam if someone requests that you pay with a gift card.
Verify again with your boss. Use a known number to call your boss instead than the one that was included in the email.
Wait a moment. Your manager isn't available? Speak with a dependable friend or coworker. Inform them of the circumstances and gauge their reaction.
Did you or a co-worker give money to a scammer? What should you do next? Sometimes (but not always) you can get your money back if you respond immediately. However, it's worth a shot.
And if you spotted this scam, report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.