Victim loses thousands of dollars in gift card scam, Madison police say

Police: Scammer posed as federal agent

MADISON, Wis. — A person lost thousands of dollars in a gift card scam in which the scammer posed as a federal agent, the Madison Police Department said Monday.

In a news release, police said the victim reported the scam Monday afternoon. The victim told police the scammer posed as a federal agent — including sending photos of a fake badge and credentials — and told them their bank account had been compromised. The scammer then told the victim to buy multiple thousands of dollars worth of gift cards and share the card information over text message, police said.

After the scammer drained the gift cards’ balances, the victim reportedly got a call from a person claiming to be a Madison police officer from a phone number appearing to belong to the dispatch center. Police did not say if they have any suspects in the case.

Police said gift cards will never be a legitimate way to cover government-related costs and urged people to confirm information through third-party sources before sending money. If a person is unsure if they’re dealing with a real officer, police said they can call the non-emergency dispatch phone number.

Anyone with information in the case should call police at 608-255-2345 or Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.