MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two Minnesota-based companies and the AARP are warning of a growing scam. Impostors are posing as a loved one, or even the IRS, demanding a payment with gift cards.

The Federal Trade Commission says 26 percent of scam victims paid with a gift card between January and September of this year. That’s up from only 7 percent in 2015.

Last month, Target, Best Buy, and Walmart announced steps to try to curb fraud. Among them were reducing gift card limits, restricting the redemption of gift cards for other gift cards, and enhancing employee training.

Best Buy is also teaming up with the AARP in a new PSA.

The FTC says if someone calls you demanding to pay them with a gift card, don’t. The cards cannot be used to pay for bail or taxes.

If you think you’ve been scammed, you should report the fraud to the card company and then tell the FTC.


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