It is a familiar story with a new twist.
VicPD are warning the public after two gift card scams were reported to them involving Steam Wallet gift cards.
Steam is an online video game service and the cards, which you can buy on-line or through a retailer, can only be used to by Steam merchandise.
In the first instance, VicPD say that a man negotiating the sale of a vehicle on-line was convinced to buy the Steam Wallet cards and share the numbers on the back with the fraudsters.
In the other case, fraudster’s managed to use a local businessperson’s email to direct one of that person’s employees to buy a large number of Steam Wallet cards. The employee eventually became suspicious and found out the request was a scam.
Why Steam Wallet gift cards? Police estimate the fraudsters sell them to gamers willing to buy them at a discount, and pocket the profit
VicPD estimates the total loss of the two frauds alone is well over $2000.
You can find out more about Steam Wallet gift cards and how to avoid falling victim to a scam here.
VicPD also offers advice on things you can do to avoid or reduce losses if someone is attempting to defraud you.
1. When conducting business online be wary of someone who needs you to buy a gift card before they purchase what you have for sale.
2. If you have purchased Steam Wallet gift cards but have not yet given the cards or the codes on the back of the cards to the scammer, do not scratch off or share the codes on the back of the cards. Call the police instead.
3. Scammers are good at convincing people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. A key technique is to create a sense of urgency, often by trying to convince you that the situation is an emergency. If the situation does not feel like an emergency to you, it is likely a scam.
4. Scammers like gift cards because they are similar to cash in that they are nearly untraceable. While these two files feature Steam Wallet gift cards, we have seen gift card scams from many different retailers. Steam Wallet gift cards are unique in that they can only be used for Steam merchandise. If you are involved in an online transaction where you are asked to purchase Steam Wallet Gift Cards but does not involve video games or Steam merchandise it is likely a scam.
5. If you are unsure if you are being scammed, do not buy the gift cards and call the police.
6. If you know you have been scammed, call the police.