COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Fraudsters are looking to cash in on consumers’ latest worry: soaring gas prices.
The Better Business Bureau issued a scam alert in June warning drivers about fake gas station gift cards designed to take advantage of those facing steep prices at the pump.
How does it work?
Consumers may see a post on social media, receive an email or take a survey that says they’ve won a $500 gas station gift card. The current scam claims to be from Shell, but watch out for other gas station brands, too.
To get the gift card, you pay a small fee, but when scammers get your credit or debit card information, they charge your account for even more money.
The scam may also request other personal details. Some consumers told the BBB they were asked to fill out a form, providing their name, phone number and physical address. Doing so could open you up to identity theft.
How to avoid gas station gift card scams
Remember that you should never pay to win. No legitimate company will ask you to pay money to receive a free gift.
Do your research. If you get an offer, visit the company’s official website to see if they really are participating in some kind of giveaway.
Don’t act impulsively. Question any offer that seems too good to be true.
As always, if you encounter one of these scams, report it to the BBB, so they can keep track and try to put a stop to it. If it’s a scam alert, that means people are falling victim to it.