Consumer Alert: Gift Card Scam Making it’s Rounds; Know What to Look For


With the holidays approaching fast, you may want to keep yourself on high alert when it comes to purchasing gift cards for your loved ones.  In this now popular gift card scam; callous thieves will steal a stack of sought after gift cards, then get identifying information off the cards, which includes the scratch-off sticker that covers the pin number.  After they obtain all the information they need, another sticker is then placed over the PIN.  This makes the consumer believe they are buying perfectly secure cards.

The stolen gift cards are then placed back on the store racks.  The thieves will repeatedly check the cards waiting for the recipiant to activate the card. The crook will use the card’s identifying information before the victim has a chance to use it and spends the balance.  They may use it after the recipiant has used it as well.

Things to look for:

Inspect the gift card for tampering. Torn packaging or a crooked scratch-off sticker will tip off consumers

Ask a retailer if they keep gift cards behind the cash register or if they can get one that isn’t on a shelf.  Hopefully, this alert will force the retailers to step things up by placing the cards in a secure case.  This will be a lot more cost-effective in the long run.

Always save your receipt and contact the store if the gift card balance is stolen.  The retailer may have a remedy in place in  case something lie this happens, but I doubt it.  Thieves are adapting to the growth of technology and adjusting their crimes accordingly.

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