Crime is everywhere and around us. Not all crimes require the use of stun guns or pepper spray to counteract a possible attack or robbery. Certain crimes are committed by white collar or blue collar using others when they least expect it.
Although the holiday season comes once a year, gift card sales are a running company for many retailers. Because of this, there is something you should know about gift card fraud. These scams can sip the value right out of your card before you can use it.
First of all and maybe they are rare of these are called Card Not Present (CNP) bluff. Unscrupulous gift card number thieves register the number of cards for sale. Then they regularly check if the cards that have the same number have been activated with an existing balance on the card. At card activation, use card number thieves to make purchases online. This allows the crooked user to clear the cash value before the intended recipients have a chance to use them.
If an unsuspecting customer buys one of these cards, the fact that it had been manipulated and its personal identification number (PIN) removed could be unnoticed until its recipients attempted to use it. Most people do not understand the importance of the PIN, so a scratched PIN can not warn them of fraud. If you give gift certificates as gifts, you can only buy cards that are stored in safe places that make it difficult to manipulate. Be aware that store customers have been known to engage in this practice. Buying gift cards stored under lock and key can reduce your chances of being ripped but it does not guarantee that this fraud will happen.
When you find a gift card from a store screen or have a clerk hand it to you, always take a look at both sides of the card before paying for it. If the PIN cap has been repetitive or if you see other signs of manipulation, you will get another card. Let the store manager know why. If the card can not be used for online purchases, you do not need to worry about the card as much as the thief would need the actual card to use it.
Another, more common form of gift card fraud, is when a retailer exceeds the value of the cards they sell. Another means that thieves use stolen credit cards to activate gift cards that are then turned and sold for cash.
Here are some other ways gift cards have been used by villains:
Co-workers in the stores steal the gift cards from the screens, enable them with store scanners and then make purchases. Sometimes they use the stolen cards to buy new gift cards to wash their stolen goods.
The thieves are masking because customers increase the glove by switching unactivated gift cards for new gift cards activated by clerks during a sale, changing their thoughts and interrupting their purchases. The cashiers are clueless because they think they got the new cards back and the villain leaves the store with the new card.
Stolen cards can end up on auction sites where no bidding bidder bids them for a bargain. The National Retail Federation warns consumers to buy online gift cards online from a reputable retailer and never via an internet auction because the card you offer may be stolen or counterfeit.
Crooks will carefully open barcode gift vouchers to remove the new, unactivated cards and insert cards that have lost their values. When these blank cards are sold, activation of the barcode of the packaging charges the correct card, which is in the hands of the sheds, with the funds.
How to avoid gift card schemes
Buy only gift cards from reputable places. Get them right from the store they are from.
Do not assume that if a store has gift cards under lock and key, it means they have not been manipulated and their numbers are reached. Carefully check both sides of the card and look for signs of manipulation, such as an exposed PIN. If you find something common, request another card and check it out as well.
Internet gift card purchases should be made from the dealers website for which they are intended to be used. Never buy them on the auction site, even if the store looks really good. Again, these cards may be stolen or counterfeit.
Keep your receipt as proof of purchase until the cards value has been used. If you lose the card, you may want to show the checkout in your receipt receipt and get them to give you a new gift card. Not all stores will do this but many will. Has the treasurer scanned the card at the time of purchase to ensure that the gift card you buy is valid and has the right balance.
Beware of these gift cards because this fraud is a form of theft through fraud.