Queensbury woman out $7K because of gift card scam; Her message to others: ‘the scammers are that good’

Queensbury woman scammed out of $7,000

Melody Randall said she thought she was about to get huge savings on her Spectrum bills. Turns out, scammers fooled her using gift cards.

Out $7,000 and no idea if she’s going to get it all back. 

Melody Randall, of Queensbury, said she thought she was about to get huge savings on her Spectrum bills after they called her with what she thought was a promotional deal.

Turns out, it was all just a big scam, and the scammers fooled her using gift cards.

Gift card scams are one of the oldest scam tricks in the book. You might be wondering: how could Melody fall for this?

You might too if you got this voicemail. It said: “Dear customer, this voicemail is to inform you that Spectrum is removing the 40% discount offer on your monthly bill. To reactivate this offer right now, please call back the number displayed on your called ID. Thank you!” 

“I felt very ashamed. I was ashamed because I borrowed money from my family to get those gift cards,” Melody said. “I was the fool.”

Melody said she thought she was about to get a major discount.

She called the person who claimed to be a Spectrum representative. There was one thing that made Melody believe it all, “He knew the amount that I paid every month was $244…that’s what made me think it was real. How would he know I paid monthly for my bill? Because everybody’s cable bill is different.”

Melody was then told how to get the deal.

“I would have to get Target gift cards to at $360 a piece and apply it to your bill for the first 6 months.”

Melody went to Hannaford and grabbed gift cards. However, something was wrong.

“I called the number back and gave them the information. He had me scratch them off and give him the access code,” she said. “He comes back on the line and he says, ‘They didn’t go through. That Hannaford had a bad batch of Target gift cards.”

Melody ended up getting a total of 17 Target gift cards! She racked up over $6,000 on her debit and credit cards.

Eventually, it was a manager at Hannaford who stopped her from buying more.

“The manager says, ‘I think you’re getting scammed, and we’re only allowed to sell you so many.’”

It doesn’t stop there. Melody said the scammers also hacked her Spectrum account, got her banking information, and stole an additional $1,000.

This whole ordeal left Melody $7,000 in the red.

“I never thought I could get scammed. I never thought it could happen to me, and this is why I want to do this [interview] because other people may think, ‘Oh no I’m not going to get scammed. You can. You can! They’re good. The scammers are that good.”

13Investigates did contact Spectrum to ask if credit card scams are common for them. Spectrum said this malicious scam, and others, are not specific to any provider or industry.

Here are some tips, from Spectrum, to avoid being scammed: 

  1. If you’re a Spectrum customer, call them at the number on your bill statement — not the number the caller gives you.
  2. Never give your account or payment information over the phone. Spectrum will never call you asking for it. Spectrum also doesn’t accept payment through gift cards – as well as Bitcoin or banking apps, like Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal. 
  3. If you find out you were, or were nearly scammed, contact police with details about the scam so they’re aware of what’s going on in your area.

Melody took advice number three; she filed a report with New York State Police, she filed a claim with Spectrum and she filed a fraudulent report with the Federal Trade Commission.

She got the $1,000 back stolen through her Spectrum account, and state police are investigating the other $6,000 from the Target gift cards.