Many scammers make their money by convincing their victims to go to the store and buy a cash reload card or gift certificate. Once these cards are bought, the fraudster has the person read the card's PIN code to them. Then, in the blink of an eye, the money from the card is transferred to the scammer.
Red flag: no legitimate business or government organization will ask to be paid via cash reload card or gift certificate.
Increasingly, store clerks, bank tellers, and other retail workers are being trained on how to identify if someone buying cash cards is being scammed. This additional level of public protection will help to prevent those uneducated about scams from losing money.
If you get a call or email from a business or organization saying you owe money, look up the group's official phone number and give them a call to make sure the requested payment is legitimate. It's better to do your due diligence than get caught in a scam.