JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about an increase in “gift card” scams.
The Sheriff’s Office says three different scams targeting county residents have reappeared recently.
In the first scheme, the scammer poses as law enforcement or a jail worker, telling the resident a relative has been arrested and they need to send a gift card to assist them.
In another case, scammers told residents a car they recently rented was involved in a crime and the victim needed to send a gift card to the “investigator” to assist.
Con artists are also reaching out via email posing as a contact the victim knows. The message asks for assistance and requests the communication stay confidential. The scammer then again asks for a gift card to be mailed or emailed back to them.
Often times, the caller is phoning from a local number or email familiar to the victim.
Deputies say anyone who receives such requests should not purchase gift cards or give out their personal information to the caller or emailer.