PHOENIX, Ariz. – On August 2, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a statewide campaign to combat utility gift card fraud in response to hundreds of complaints from customers who have been persuaded by scammers to pay bills with prepaid gift cards.
The Arizona General's Office (AGO) collaborated with the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance (AFMA) and other public utilities such as SRP, Southwest Gas, APS, TEP, and UniSource Energy Services to install new warning signs in over 1,200 Arizona supermarkets and convenience stores.
"I am proud to work alongside our public utilities, retailers, and Arizona Food Marketing Alliance, to expand this consumer fraud awareness program to better protect Arizonans." said Brnovich.
Since scammers frequently pose as utility companies that threaten to turn off service unless paid for with prepaid gift cards, the signs are made as a reminder that makes buyers pause and considers why they are purchasing the gift card.
When you receive calls demanding that you pay with a prepaid gift card, keep the following points in mind:
1) What You Should Know
- Gift cards, prepaid cards, or cryptocurrency are never used as a means of payment by official government agencies or utility companies.
- Scammers often make threats such as arrests or discontinued services while posing as officials or employees of agencies and companies.
2) What You Should Do
- Keep your card numbers or PINs to yourself.
- When in doubt, it's better to immediately hang up the call and report it to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich's Office at (602) 542-5763 or the website.
The new warning signs can be found installed at retailers like the Bashas' Family of Stores, Albertsons, Safeway, Los Altos Ranch Markets, and Circle K
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