Gasoline prices have slowly come down, but it’s still a huge expense for families. Many people are looking for ways to save and now some scams are mimicking gas rewards.
“Many scammers claim to be able to offer free gift cards,” said Viridana Quintana of the Better Business Bureau of San Diego. “It certainly may seem like a real and legitimate opportunity.”
BBB scam tracker shows these fake offers are targeting people across the US
Here’s how it works. You’ll be told that you’ve won a gas station gift card via text, email, or even a social media post or message. Of course, there is a catch.
“What sets it apart and should be a red flag is when they ask for payment,” Quintana said. “When a company claims to give you a free item, it should be totally free.”
There are three ways to avoid these scams. First of all, pay attention to paid offers. They might say you have to pay a small shipping fee, but once they have your credit card information, they can charge as much as they want.
“Plus, of course, they keep this information which can lead to identity theft and other issues,” Quintana said.
Second, do your research. If it is a real offer, it should be easy to know.
“If it’s a big gas station brand that we see all over our area, look for it, look for its social media,” Quintana said. “See if they do any giveaways with gift cards.”
Finally, don’t act on impulse. Take an extra minute to think about whether it’s too good to be true.
“People are so excited and quick to claim it because gas prices are so high,” Quintana said. “Take time, do your research without just clicking yes.”
If you’re looking for ways to reduce your gas consumption, check out some simple tips here.