The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office wants to get out the word on a new scheme that has surfaced designed to fraudulently use email and gift cards to gain cash.
It began today when the employee of a Fort Walton Beach business received an email that appeared to be from the business owner, asking her to purchase gift cards to give out. She was instructed to use either a company credit card or her own and told she would be reimbursed. It was signed with the name of the business’s owner. She was told to then send photos of all the purchased card numbers and purchase receipt back to him. However when she went to follow through with the instructions, the credit card company texted the real business owner. He declined the transaction and notified law enforcement.
Although the original email to the employee had both her correct name and her correct email address, the OCSO Sheriff’s Office found the email address given to her to use to relay the gift card numbers was NOT the business owner’s true email address.
It’s believed the scammers may have gotten accurate business related names and emails from a combination of websites and business cards.
Please share information about this fraud attempt with others so steps can be taken to avoid anyone falling victim to the scam.