Hello People, My name is James living in California, United States. Many Americans are becoming victims of various types of scam going online and offline. But, Do you know what kind of scam is trending in 2020-2021? Yes, you are thinking right, Google Play Gift Card Scam. Many Americans being looted thousands of dollars by telling them to buy Google Play Gift Cards to fix their Mobiles and other gadgets.
As everyone knows American citizens are not good with cybersecurity knowledge as anyone can make fools of them by telling or guiding them the wrong way.
Today I gonna reveal how people from India, Philippines, and many other countries scam Americans on the name of Google Play Gift Cards.
How it gets started?
So, one day I was in the office and was surfing the internet. I was just checking some dating websites to find any girl to hang out with. So when I entered in one of the dating websites, was scrolling the website to find a match, suddenly an attractive Pop-Up appeared saying “A girl is interested in you and want to meet you, click here for the registration”, and out of curiosity I clicked that pop-up and then my browser got freeze/hang and I was not able to do anything. My screen was showing “someone is trying to hack your Android device, Please call Google Support” and was flashing a toll-free number.
Then I dialed that number for help thinking that I am calling real Google Support and from there it all got started.
Conversation with Scammer to Fix My Phone – PART 1
So, When I tried to call on the number that was flashing on my screen, a Fake Google Support Agent picked up the call.
Fake Google Support Agent: Thank You for calling Google Online Support, You are speaking with Alex. How may I help you?
Me: Hi, Alex, My phone is not working and I was trying to surf the internet and out of sudden, My phone got hanged.
Fake Google Support Agent: Ok, May I know, since how long you are facing this problem?
Me: 20 minutes
Fake Google Support Agent: May I know what was the last thing which you were doing with your device when this problem came, like the last website that you visited?
Me: Ahhh! I was on some dating website
Fake Google Support Agent: ALRIGHT, so no need to worry I will connect your device with my Google secure server to check the exact problem that you are facing right now so, I can help you to fix the problem. Okay?
Fake Google Support Agent: Sir/ma’am may I know are you’re calling from the same Android mobile that is facing the problem?
Fake Google Support Agent: In that case, I am connecting your phone line with my Google secure server you need to hold the line for 1 minute.
Me: OK, do it fast
Fake Google Support Agent: Thank you for holding the line sir/ma’am, are you still there?
Alright, so right now as I can see in my report you are facing a Google security breach message which is alarming you that something is going wrong with your device.
Let me tell you the exact problem that you are facing right now listen to me very carefully, as I can see in my report I am sorry to say but your device has been badly infected by some third party application, let me tell you that these are some applications which are made by some bad people known as the hackers who are trying to get inside your personal information like your picture, videos, contacts or maybe your banking information over your internet.
As I can see sir/ma’am may be accidentally you visited some kind of unauthorized websites over the internet like an adult website or a movie website and over those websites, you responded onto some CHEEZY ADVERTISEMENT or ATTRACTIVE POPUP and that was the only reason your device got infected by some third party application. And let me tell you that when they were trying to steal your personal information at that point in time the Google security breach message came up on your screen just to give you the last warning that something is going wrong with your device and contact support immediately.
let me tell you sir/ma’am as I can see in my report my technicians are telling me that till now no damage has been done but Google needs to make sure that we are fixing this problem right now right away only because it’s a matter of your safety and security.
Me: How it can be fixed? please do something ( I got worried that time and wanted to fix this problem thinking that I am talking to Real Google Support).
Fake Google Support Agent: So let me tell you that in order to fix this problem what we need to do is first my technicians will be deleting all the third party applications which are attacking your network, and once all the virus all the infection will be completely deleted what YOU need to do from your end as you are having the device in your hand is you need to download a new BROWSER and a new ANDROID OPERATING SYSTEM in your device because the browser and android operating system which you are having in your mobile phone is badly infected and is not safe to use in future.
And this process will take around 10 to 15 minutes of your time.
Is it OK with you Sir?
Me: Yeah, It’s alright but try to do it fast.
Fake Google Support Agent: Okay so my technicians are getting connected with your network and they will be starting there work in 1 minute so make sure that you are not disconnecting the phone line in between because we have to be connected all the time.
So in the meantime, as I told you that you need to download a new browser for your phone, so can you please tell me that do you know how to do that or you will be needing my help in that case?
Me: No Alex, I don’t know how to install or download that!
Fake Google Support Agent: That will not be a problem, do one thing grab a piece of paper and a pen so that it will be easy for you to understand over the phone line. Please take your time sir/ma’am.
Me: Ok, wait for a second, Yeah I got it, tell me what I have to write?
Fake Google Support Agent: Alright, first of all, I believe being a Google android customer you must be aware that browser and android Operating System are some premium software of every Android device, whenever you purchase any Android device whether its android mobile phones or any google product, Browser is already provided to you in that machine right?
Fake Google Support Agent: Yes, so it’s not like you are downloading a free game or a free application for your android phone when it comes to safari and iOS. Okay?
Let me tell you, sir/ma’am, in Google if any customer wants to download any premium software or any premium security for there Android devices they need to use a Google physical card to do that which is known as Google Play Card. Please write the name of the card so that you can understand better. The first word is Google, the second word is Play and the last word is Card.
May I know have you ever used a Google Play Card before downloading any software?
Fake Google Support Agent: Are you having any of these Google Play Card with you at this moment?
Fake Google Support Agent: Okay so, in that case, I am sorry to say sir/ma’am but you need to face a little bit of inconvenience as you don’t have the card with you at this moment to download the new browser and android operating system in that case what you need to do is you need to physically visit the closest Google authorized store like a Google store, Google service center or you can visit the closest groceries or supermarket like Walmart, Walgreen, CVS, 7 eleven, Kroger’s, rite aid, dollar store, dollar general AND you need to purchase a GOOGLE PLAY CARD OF $50.
Me: Why I have to buy that? you don’t have the card?
Fake Google Support Agent: Yes Sir, you have to buy Google Play Card as we are not authorized to buy this and we make the customer buy these google play cards to install premium Softwares and Network Securities and after completion of this process we refund the amount in their Google wallet or in their Debit or Credit card according to their requirement.
Me: So, you are saying I will get back my $50?
Fake Google Support Agent: Yes sir, you will get your amount back through the Google billing department on the same call.
So, sir may I know how much time it will take to reach the nearest google authorized store to buy a $50 Google Play Card?
Me: ahhh! 15 Minutes
Fake Google Support Agent: Okay so listen to the instructions very carefully what you need to do.
- First, make sure that you are not disconnecting the line in between the process because if the phone line will get disconnected my technicians will lose the connection and the work that they are doing will be infected.
- Second make sure that when you come outside the store, sitting comfortably in the parking lot let me know that ALEX, I got the card because many times these cards are not properly activated from the store okay?
Me: Ok ALEX, I got you!
Fake Google Support Agent: And, Sir remember, if you need any help, just say – Hi Alex and I will be there to assist you, and please ignore my silence as I and my technicians are going to start their work.
Now, I went to the nearest store Wallmart and asked for $50 Google Play Card thinking it gonna fix my phone and after buying the card I went to my car and said Hi Alex
Conversation with Scammer to Fix My Phone – PART 2
Me: Hi Alex, I got the card
Fake Google Support Agent: Ok sir, please turn back the card and you will see a silver area ( scratch area ) which you have to peel off or scratch very gently and you will be able to see some alpha-numeric digits that you to give me. OK!
Me: Ok, let me peel off the silver area, Yes I can see the numbers, shall I start ALEX?
Fake Google Support Agent: Yes, and please tell the digits in a phonetic language like ‘A’ as in Apple, ‘B’ as in Benjamin, and so on.
Me: Ok, Note down xv34……. ( gave him the code and he verified two times )
Fake Google Support Agent: Ok, fine sir, now I will going to start installing a new browser and a new operating system in your device and do remember you don’t have to drive and just sit in your car as I don’t want any fluctuation in the network during the installation.
Me: Ok fine, How much time it will take?
Fake Google Support Agent: It will take around 10-15 minutes.
Me: Ok Alex, Do it fast
Fake Google Support Agent: Yes, Sir, Just ignore my silence as my technician is going to start the fixation.
Now, As he (Scammer) told me that he is fixing my phone and after 10 minutes he said Hi.
Conversation with Scammer to Fix My Phone – PART 3
Fake Google Support Agent: Hello Sir, are you with me!
Me: Yes, is it fixed now?
Fake Google Support Agent: Sir, my technician told me that when they are trying to install the new Browser and Operating System, they got to know that these hackers have infected your Network and if we will not fix the Network then hackers can steal your private information and can misuse them and ultimately you will be the responsible one, So sir no need to worry as my technicians are telling me to guide you accordingly.
Me: OMG! how is it possible and I am using this device for 2 years and now you are telling me my phone has been compromised!
Fake Google Support Agent: Yes, but don’t worry, your phone is connected to secure Google server and during this time hackers can’t do anything with your phone, don’t hang-up the line as if you will disconnect the line then your phone will be in the hand of Hackers.
Me: OK, Alex, What shall I do now?
Fake Google Support Agent: So, sir my technicians are telling me that they need to install 3 network securities for your phone and after installing these securities, we can install the new browser and operating system and these securities are for the lifetime.
And, Sir again you need to buy 3 separate Google Play Card to install these three securities in your device worth $100 each.
Me: $300? are you kidding me, Alex, that is too much to fix the mobile!
Fake Google Support Agent: Sir, Don’t worry about the amount because as I told you these cards are the refundable amount and once the fixation is done and your device is safe from the hackers, then I will simply transfer the call to the billing department and they will refund your $350 in Debit or Credit card according to your requirement.
Me: I don’t know Alex what to say, I don’t have the $300 amount, Can you help me out?
Fake Google Support Agent: Sir, I really want to help you out but I am just doing my job as I handle more than 10 cases of hackings in a day, and the procedure is the same for all of the victims out there. You can do one thing, that you can ask for help from your family or friends, after getting the refund back, you can return their amount. It’s just a matter of 20-25 minutes more.
Me: Ok Wait!
( I immediately disconnected the call and dialed to my colleague to ask about it)
When I talked about this matter to my colleague, He suddenly told me that don’t buy any Card as it is a SCAM and just go to the nearest mobile service center.
So, Guys, this is how these Scammer scams you and make you buy Google Play Gift Cards to earn the money
They always tell you some problems and making you buy Google Play Gift Card again and again until and unless you empty your bank and pocket and at last when you don’t have anything and then you start feeling that you have been scammed and you can’t do anything.
Moreover, when you try to tell them to refund you money, then also they tell you some problem they are getting to refund the money and ask you to buy more Google Play Gift Card to refund your own money and thinking you will get the refund, you buy more CARDS and still, you don’t get your Dollars back.
How to Fix Your Mobile from This Kind of Pop-Ups
First of all, Never click on any Pop-Up Ads as they contain virus and malware which infect your device and in case you got your browser freeze, just clear your App Data and Cache of your mobile.
How to Clear App Data and Cache to Fix Your Mobile Which Got Freeze Due to Pop-Up
- Go to your Setting
- Scroll down and press Apps
- Then select your Browser that got Freezed ( Chrome, Firefox )
- After selecting the Browser, Press the Clear Cache and Restart your Phone.
And, It’s done, you can access your Browser without losing any of your personal data.
How Scammers Earn Through Google Play Gift Card
When these scammers take the code of your Google Play Gift Card, they easily resell the card to various online platforms. There are multiple online platforms where users can sell unwanted, unused gift card balances as criminals or scammers have taken advantage of this opportunity and steal the balances from unsuspecting sellers.
According to my research, these unused balances are redeemed in China and an agent from China known as Blocker pays the scammer for providing them the unused gift card code.
However, the scammer doesn’t get the amount on the real dollar rate but they get around 50 INR per dollar that is also a huge amount for scammer as if the scammer able to get $1000 of Google Gift cards, then he will be earning 40,000 INR in a single day.
What Happens when The Scammer Gets Caught?
In India, Nothing happens, When a team of scammers gets caught by the Police or Cop, they easily get free as Police can’t prove them guilty due to lack of proofs against the scammers.
And, in any case, the police get bribe easily by the scammers as they pay a huge amount to the police to keep their mouth shut and after that, they just change the location.
Popular Scams like Google Play Gift Card
In all these scams the Pitch is the same. Scam similar to Google Play Gift Card Fraud:
- iTunes Gift Card Scam
- Amazon Gift Card Scam
- e-bay Gift Card Scam
- Paypal Scam
Remember one thing, these Gift Cards are used to redeem money and to install paid games and software. If anyone asks you to buy these Gift Cards to fix your Device, just disconnect the call and complain about it in the Police Station.