Missouri Secretary of State warns that scammers often ask for gift cards as payment

Missouri

The Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Beware of anyone who asks you to pay for something with a gift card. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has renewed the warning after the Business Services Division in his office received several complaints.

The Secretary of State’s office says that some Missourians have misdialed the office’s toll-free number. They have been asked to pay for services using Walmart gift cards.

“We will never ask you to pay by using a gift card,” Ashcroft writes. “We have multiple forms of payment that our staff will direct you to use, including our e-payment system or by mail. Our fee schedule and any convenience fees are available on our website.”

For years, scammers have encouraged consumers to send money through legitimate businesses like Western Union and Moneygram. Recently, they have turned to gift cards as the latest method to collect cash from victims in difficult-to-trace transactions.

Scammers convince victims to buy gift cards and then ask for the numbers on the back, so they can steal the money loaded on the cards, according to the Better Business Bureau.

The Business Services Division may be reached by calling (866) 223-6535 or emailing corporations@sos.mo.gov. The fee schedule and any convenience fees may be found here.

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