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Wood Buffalo RCMP sounds alarm over gift card scam

FILE - An Alberta RCMP cruiser. (Tom Ross, CityNews Photo) 2022/03/P1120608-scaled.jpg 2022/03/P1120608-scaled.jpg 2022/03/P1120608-scaled.jpg

RCMP is asking residents to be aware of a popular scam involving the use of gift cards.

This comes after officers received calls from people about suspected fraudsters claiming to be government agents, a family in need, or a credit company attempting to solicit funds from victims.

Fraudsters would tell victims about fictitious outstanding debts, and instruct them to purchase gift cards and provide information on the card to the caller.

Wood Buffalo RCMP is reminding people gift cards can’t be used to pay legal fees or taxes, and they will never ask for personal or financial information over the phone without verification.

They ask residents to consider these warning signs to help avoid being a victim of fraud:

  • Is someone claiming to be a family member in trouble?
  • Are you being asked to purchase large sums of gift cards?
  • Is someone claiming to be Canada Revenue?
  • Are you being pressured to buy gift cards to pay your taxes?


Wood Buffalo RCMP will post notices on gift card stands at participating stores in Fort McMurray.

People who may have fallen victim to a financial scam should contact Wood Buffalo RCMP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

RCMP also suggest calling the bank and credit card company, if personal information may be compromised.