(WKBN)- The Better Business Bureau is warning people about a new way scammers are taking your money.

They are pretending to be a friend stuck without money asking for a gift card. You get an email from a friend just casually asking if you can do them a favor.

One BBB employee is the one that almost fell for the scam. They said that the scammer was posing as the friend saying they were out of town and needed them to help pick up a gift card as a birthday gift. Luckily, the employee realized something was wrong after the scammer wanted some extra information about the gift card.

“They’re asking for the account number, which is on the gift card and that secret code, which is behind that silver coating,” said Melissa Ames of BBB Youngstown.

That is when the employee knew something was wrong and reached out to their friend. The friend confirmed that they were fine and didn’t need anything. Melissa says that if you run into something like this, the best thing to do first is to get in contact with your friend.

The Youngstown BBB is making sure you know about all the scams in the area. You can go to their website to see what scams are popping up here in the Valley and report one if you find something suspicious.

You could also be getting weird texts occasionally from businesses and even cell phone providers.
These, more often than not, are scammers that are trying to trick you.

These messages usually come with links that they want you to tap on and open. But whatever you do, don’t click those links. You have no idea where it is going to take you or if it will leave a virus on your device.

“Just like if you were on the street, you would not take a package from a stranger. So, same thing in your technology communications. You are not accepting that package from the strangers,” Ames said.

The BBB recommends contacting your phone carrier directly if you start seeing suspicious calls or texts.
You can also go and block numbers from contacting you and there are apps that you can download that will block these from your phone. If you do find yourself in the middle of a scam, report it to the local BBB office.

On the BBB’s website, you can find all the reported consumer scams that are impacting the Valley.