Gift-card scams on the rise around holidays

Gift cards are popular during the Holiday Season,but they're also an easy way for criminals to steal money.

The Federal Trade Commission warns customers that more scam artists are demanding payment with gift cards, often asking for iTunes, Google Play or Amazon gift cards, found in countless stores across the U.S.

"Gift cards are great for con artists for three reasons. First of all, it's almost impossible for a consumer to reverse the transaction," says Monica Vaca with the FTC. "it's quick. It's very quick for the con artist and third, it lets the con artist remain anonymous."

The FTC says in 2015, consumers lost $20 million in scams where gift-card payments were involved. In. In the first nine months of 2018, that number ballooned to $53 million lost.

If anyone calls and demands payment with a gift card, you're best advice is to hang up immediately.