Safeway adding new signs to warn about gift card scams

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 4:44 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Safeway and Albertsons stores across Colorado added new measures to protect customers from losing money to gift card scams.

The stores put up signs near the gift card kiosks telling people the red flags to be aware of, including someone telling you to pay a debt, bill, fine, etc. using gift cards; a caller wanting to remain on the phone with you while you purchase gift cards; and a caller wanting you to provide them the gift card numbers as soon as you buy them.

“What we’re trying to tell our customers and make sure they understand is that gift cards are for gifts. They’re not for making payments,” said David Montoya. He’s the director of asset protection for Safeway and Albertsons Denver division.

He said all stores in Colorado should have the new signs up by this weekend.

“We really don’t want to see anyone come into our store, buy a couple thousand dollars’ worth of gift cards, only to lose it because of a scammer,” Montoya said. “We think we have an obligation to our customers and to the public in general, the communities that we operate in, to do what we can to educate them.”

In addition to the new signs, Montoya said the company has been training its employees so they know what cues and signs to look out for to prevent a customer from falling victim to a gift card scam.

“Even if you don’t see the sign, or maybe you don’t believe it, you get to the checkout stand and you’re buying a couple thousand dollars’ worth of gift cards, you can be assured that our employees will very professionally and kindly, politely ask you if you’d be willing to share why you got so many gift cards,” Montoya said. “Of course, we’re looking for some telltale signs, like the customer being on the phone with someone when they buy these gift cards. For us, that’s a telltale sign.”

If you think someone is trying to scam you into buying gift cards, report it to your local police department or sheriff’s office. You can also report scams and fraud to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office at 800-222-4444.

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