What to do if you’re a victim of a Google Play gift card scam

If you’re a victim of a scam involving Play Gift Cards, here’s what you can do and need to know.

Report the scam

If you’re a victim of a gift card scam, report the scam to your local police department. You can also report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission.

Next, report the gift card scam to Google. If you report the scam, it may help you and others from similar suspicious activities in the future.

Report the gift card scam to Google

If you don't have a Google Account: To report the gift card scam to Google, use this form.

Tip: The person who reports the scam to Google must be the person affected by the scam.

How to know if you're being scammed

Someone might be trying to scam you if they ask you to buy a Google Play gift card and share the code so that you can pay for something outside Google Play.

  • A scammer calls and pretends to be from a government agency (like the IRS in the US. Other countries have agencies with different names). The scammer says that you owe money for taxes, bail money, debt collection, and more. They tell you that to avoid arrest, or to prevent the seizure of physical items or your personal identification information (like your SSN in the US. Other countries use different names), you have to pay them with gift cards.
  • A scammer claims to be a family member in trouble, an attorney, or another representative of your family member. The scammer tells you that they need to be paid in gift cards in order to remedy the situation. They may deter you from attempts to contact the family member to verify the claim. Don’t believe them. Never buy gift cards for them or provide them with any gift card codes.

These examples only cover some types of scams. Scammers constantly change the ways they trick people. If anyone asks you for a code, it could be a scam.

Check what a gift card looks like

Google Play gift card code

Avoid gift card scams 

  • Never use Google Play gift cards to pay for taxes, bail money, or anything outside Google Play. Google Play gift cards can only be used to make purchases on Google Play.
  • Never share the code on the back of the gift card.

Replace a lost or stolen gift card

Google Play gift cards cannot be resold, exchanged, or transferred for value, so we will not be able to issue you a new gift card. 

Check the Google Play Gift Card Terms of Service to learn more about the limitations for gift cards.

Unfortunately, Google Play Gift Cards are also not redeemable for cash, not reloadable, and non-refundable, unless required by law. 

Related resources

Avoid and report Google scams

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