In October 14, the California Dental Association (CDA) published a warning notification on its website about an email scam that looks like it was sent by its president Del Brunner with a signature of “R. Del Brunner”. These are not CDA-authorized emails from Dr. Brunner, but are in fact imposter emails sent from scammers. According to the CDA, the emails impersonating Dr. Brunner are brief, in a casual tone, and requests that the recipients buy gift cards from multinational retailers.
According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, these types of scams are on the rise. Here’s what generally happens: in the email or phone call, the scammer will often tell you to go buy a popular gift card, frequently, iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon. They will tell you to get the card at a particular store near you – often Walmart, Target, Walgreens, or CVS. They may even have you buy several cards at several stores. Sometimes, if it’s a phone scam, the caller will stay on the phone with you while you go to the store. Once you buy the card, the scammer will demand the gift card number and PIN on the back of the card. Those numbers let them immediately get the money you loaded onto the card. And once they’ve done that, the scammers and your money are gone, usually without a trace.
While details of the gift card scam, such as the requested gift card amount, the delivery method or the name used to try to trick recipients, may change, if anyone demands you to pay for anything by gift card, or by wiring money – for any reason – that’s a sure sign of a scam.
Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.