Gift card scam nearly ruins Christmas for Southwest Florida man

Posted at 11:26 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 07:21:56-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - 'Tis the season for holiday scams.  One involves a tricky ad on Facebook that forces you to shell out some cold hard cash which would otherwise be used on stocking stuffers.

Matthew Magowan thought he was safe Googling a question.  "I went on to search for a customer service number for Facebook and just chose the first one that popped up on the Google search," said Magowan, a father of two.

He called the number. The person who answered told Matt he worked for Facebook.  He tried to help Matt but eventually told Magowan a software problem prevented him from fixing the problem and left Matt on the hook for the bill.

"It would've cost quite a bit about $600," said Magowan.

Matt was instructed to buy six $100 gift cards for iTunes in order to fix the problem, but that made no sense to Matt's wife.  "Luckily I was talking to my wife who said, 'Hey that doesn't sound right'," said Magowan.

It also didn't check out with the manager over at a local CVS Pharmacy.  "The manager rang me up and she asked me what I was doing. She told me about this scam that people were facing with these iTune gift cards," said Matt.

He stopped the purchase and did some research on the scam.  It's the same advice police will give you.

"If it looks like a strange link, take a deep breath think about what you are doing before you are putting your financial information out there," said Phil Mullen from the Cape Coral Police Department.

Matt is thankful the person on the other end didn't steal his holiday.  "Grinches. They could've really ruined Christmas," said Matt.