Ahh, the gift card! It is almost the best gift ever. You get to pick out your gift and spend the entire amount on yourself. It seems like a safe transaction. Unless a scammer has already stolen your funds. According to the Better Business Bureau, there is a new scam involving gift cards. Con artists are getting clever in the way they steal money.
Here is how the gift card scam works. The thief will somehow record the numbers from new gift cards inside of a store. Usually, these cards are left out in the open. The con air has devised a way to scratch the strip off of the back of the card and collect the needed security codes. Then he covers it up with a fake strip. Then, leaves the scene.
Next, an unsuspecting customer will purchase the tampered card, and load money on it. The hacker receives an alert that funds are available. The hacker will then use internet software to obtain the money loaded onto the card.
Scammers are also attaching a fake bar code sticker to gift cards in the store. The fradulent bar code will deposit any money directly into the criminals account.
The BBB has also been alerted to a website that is also stealing gift card information. The site appears to be a site that will check the balance of your gift card but will actully steal the card’s balance. Only check the balance of the card using the information printed on the card.
The BBB has a few ways that you can protect yourself from gift card fraud.
First of all, try to buy your gift cards online from the company’s website, especially if you are planning on giving a high dollar gift card.
If you happen to buy a card in person in a retailers store, check the card carefully. Look at the back and see if the PIN number is visible. Try to avoid, the cards out in the open on a rack. It’s best to buy a card that is kept behind the counter in sealed packaging.
Finally, see if can register your gift card. This way you can track the purchases made on the card. If you notice any misuse of funds, you can easily report it to authorities.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
“Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana is a private non-profit organization. BBB strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
Please contact Better Business Bureau at (337) 981-3497 24 or bbb.org 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America. Consumers can also sign up for our free BBB “Scoop” eNewsletter by visiting bbb.org and clicking on the “Programs & Services” tab.
BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry, and Vermilion.
SOURCE: BBB of Acadiana