Individuals have recently reported to the Identity Theft Resource Center that scammers are requesting a new payment method through AmEx prepaid card when targeting victims.

Who Is It Targeting: Social Media users

What Is It:  Phishing scams that demand untraceable payment methods

What Are They After: Now that word has gotten out about not paying your “taxes” with iTunes gift cards or wiring money to an alleged kidnapper via Western Union, scammers have started demanding payment via prepaid cards from recognizable financial institutions like American Express. They insist on a prepaid card because your bank cannot cancel the transaction if it turns out to be fraud. One victim who contacted the ITRC was instructed to put the fee on a prepaid AmEx card in order to apply for a “government grant;” the fraud came to her through a Facebook friend’s account.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • There is no legitimate reason that you will be required to make a payment via an untraceable method.
  • If the company is able to accept a prepaid Visa, Mastercard or AmEx card, they will be able to accept your credit card.
  • Never agree to make a payment through an untraceable method without checking out the situation completely.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. 

Read next: Top Scams of the Year


Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App from ITRC.

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