MADISON – The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is collaborating with Walmart, the Wisconsin Grocers Association, the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association to stop gift card scammers in their tracks. DATCP will provide interested Wisconsin retailers, grocers, and convenience stores with free signage upon request for their gift card display stations warning consumers of the risks of paying someone with a gift card.
Scammers attempt to convince their victims to submit payments via gift cards for fake tickets, outstanding debts, or to prevent utilities or services from suspension. These imposters prefer payment via gift card because gift cards are like cash. Once you turn over the card number, the transaction cannot be canceled, refunded, or traced, often leaving the victim out hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
By reaching consumers at the gift card display, DATCP’s Bureau of Consumer Protection hopes to stop consumers before they purchase gift cards intended to “pay” scammers. Each sign will warn consumers that paying someone with gift cards is always a scam. The signs will also list DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline number so consumers can call and report a scam or ask for advice about how to avoid one right from the store.
Retailers or trade organizations interested in participating in this campaign can request free signage from DATCP by contacting the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128 or emailing DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov with the number of items they want and where to send them. Consumers who may have been the victim of a scam can file a complaint online at www.datcp.wi.gov.