There have been many reports recently of gift card related scams. These have been reported by both law enforcement and even non-profits like churches and other non-governmental organizations.
As organizations have cracked down and educated their staff on other schemes like CEO Fraud and wire transfers, this new scheme looks to switch things up a little to catch people off guard. Sometimes they are sent using look-alike email addresses close to but not from someone they claim to be, but often they can appear to legitimately come from someone you trust. The victim is usually told that the gift cards are required for gifts or bonuses for employees or customers. Scammers it turns out are really skilled at making others feel like something is very urgent and this ploy is usually used in these attacks.
Emails asking to pay for goods or services using gift cards, or email requests for gift cards should be a red flag. If someone in your organization asks you to purchase a gift card, pick up the phone and connect with them in person before you find yourself in an embarrassing situation.