The Duluth Police Department is reporting that a common internet, phone scam is being attempted in the Northland involving the use of gift cards as a form payment.  Apparently, the Sawyer County Sheriff's Office has received several complaints from people who have been contacted by these scammers.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the way the scam works is someone contacts you claiming to be with the IRS, tech support or in relation to a family member in need.  They then ask you for payment in the form of a gift card from a business like iTunes, Google Play, Walgreens, Best Buy, etc.

To scammers, getting payment from gift cards is desirable because they are basically untraceable.

The FTC reiterates that anyone who requests payment by gift card is always a scammer.  There is no gray area with this, if you get a call asking for a gift card for payment, you are being scammed and you need to hang up and report it to the FTC.

If you fall victim to this scam, you should immediately notify the company you bought the gift card from and let them know if was used as part of a scam.  If you contact them soon enough you may be able to get your money back, but you need to act fast to even have a chance.