Think you or a loved one were targeted by a scam? You are not alone. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360 for free support.

With so many scams out there these days it’s hard to know what is real and what isn’t. That’s why it’s so important to know how to spot the red flags. 

One of the biggest warning signs is someone asking to be paid by gift card. If a person you don’t know asks you to buy gift cards to pay off a debt or obligation, it’s a scam. 

It might be someone who says they work for Social Security and that your number is at risk, someone calling to tell you won a prize but have some upfront fees. 

It might even be a new online friend or someone pretending to be a grandchild who has fallen on hard times. 

The one thing they will all have in common is that they need money right away and the easiest way for you to get it to them is with a gift card.

Remember: anyone who tells you to pay off a debt with a gift card is a scammer. 

For more information on gift card scams, visit