At a time of the year when many of us are buying gift cards to allow loved ones to purchase something of our choosing, Federal Trade Commission data reveals that, increasingly, criminals are separating consumers of their savings by enticing them to purchase gift cards for them.

In the first nine months of this year, according to the FTC, consumers reported losing $ 148 million in scams where gift cards were used as a form of payment. This amount is higher than that declared for the 12 months of last year.

Almost 40,000 consumers have used gift cards to pay scammers so far this year. Most scammers said they were from large businesses or government agencies, according to consumers who reported them, and Target gift cards were the most requested form of gift cards.

Since 2018, both the number of consumers filing reports in which gift cards were the means of payment to scammers and the amount consumers reported losing have grown steadily, the FTC said.

Fortunately, the FTC has resources for consumers, including information on how to contact gift card companies to try and stop payments to scammers, at ftc.gov/giftcards. The agency also publishes general informations on scams for consumers, as well as information on another type of scam that, unfortunately, is common at this time of year: charity scams.

The FTC also has brochures, flyers, booklets, bookmarks, and other publications that you can display or distribute around your retirement home to educate residents, family and staff about scams. and other topics. They are free to print or order and are shipped to you. Visit This site to view documents related to the scam.

They would make great gifts!