NewsCovering Kentucky


Crooks Target EKU Employees With Elaborate Gift Card Scam

Posted at 9:27 PM, Dec 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-22 21:27:13-05

MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) – A Madison County woman says she was the victim of an elaborate gift card scam.

A Friday preparing for the holidays took a sharp turn when an e-mail popped up on Sonja Yow’s phone.

“It didn’t look alarming. It definitely looked as if it was her email,” said Yow.

She says that message appeared to be from her boss at Eastern Kentucky University. It said “are you on campus?”

“I believed that I was conversing with my boss. I had no reason not to believe that,” said Yow.

After several messages were exchanged, Yow says she was asked to pick up three $100 ITunes gift cards as a favor.

“I thought it might be a little bit strange that she was asking me versus someone else but then I’m thinking well she knows that I live close to campus, she know that I would do this for her,” said Yow.

Yow says she went to a nearby Dollar General to purchase those gift cards. She got into her car in the parking lot, took photos of the gift cards, sent them via e-mail like she was told. But that’s when she started to feel something was off.

“As I was waiting for the last photo to send a message came back that said “I’m waiting” and that struck me as odd because it sounded a bit rude and I knew that she would not talk to me that way,” said Yow.

Yow says she immediately called to cancel the charges but the photos had already sent. Thankfully she says Apple agreed to reimburse her. She wants others to be on the lookout for this kind of manipulation.

“If it doesn’t seem right, if it seems like this is a bit strange. Check first,” said Yow.