Telephone scammers who pretend to be IRS or FBI agents and prey on elders tell their potential victims that they will be arrested unless they give them gift cards. It sounds like a con that wouldn't fool anyone, but a lot of people fall for it. In this episode of The Perfect Scam we hear from people who lost their life savings and more to these evil scumbags.
Many people see the colorful racks of plastic gift cards in checkout lines as convenient last-minute gifts. But criminals see a tool to steal money from unsuspecting consumers in a way that's completely untraceable and irreversible. The crime is so common that Americans report the theft of $50 million via gift cards every three months, and many other cases are never reported. In this two-part special report, we meet three people who share their experiences with scams involving gift card payments and find out what researchers have discovered about measures to combat this pervasive form of fraud.