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UC Aware: How gift cards are used to steal your money

Aug. 15, 2019

Dear UC Community,

The UC Police have recently been made aware of a number of online scams involving gift cards. The scammers send communications that appear to come from someone the victim knows, such as a co-worker or family member, and asks the email recipient to purchase a gift card. There is often an urgency to the request, and the scammer will ask the recipient to purchase the card at a nearby store.

Once the recipient purchases the gift card, the scammer will ask for the gift card number and pin, allowing them immediate access to the money on the card. Once accessed by the scammer, it is unlikely the victim will get their money back.

If you believe you have received a suspicious email:

  • Do not reply to the message. Verify the request by communicating with the sender using another source, such as a phone call, or an in-person conversation.
  • Report the message by forwarding it to UC Information Security at abuse@uc.edu. After forwarding the message, delete it.
  • Do not click on any links.
  • Do not fill out any forms.
  • When in doubt, ask! Forward the message to abuse@uc.edu and ask for it to be verified.
  • If you have responded and incurred a monetary loss as a result, make a report to the UC Police by calling 513-556-1111 or speaking with an officer in person at Three Edwards Center, 51 W. Corry Blvd.

For more information on phishing, please go to the Office of Information Security’s website. For more information on online scams, please go to the Public Safety Department’s website.


James L. Whalen

Director, Public Safety