Gift Cards, ebay, amazon, etc (article)

Chanbal

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Aug 18, 2012
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I thought this article was appropriate to share here, please see link below. It is unbelievable how creative people are to scam others. I never particularly liked gift cards, but now I have one more reason...

"A hacker takes the card off the rack, writes down the gift card's number, and scratches off the strip on the back of the card to get the security code. "
"The crooks can see as soon as someone activates the card"
"the crook then starts a roundabout process of laundering the money"
"he might place an ad on a site such as eBay for an item that he doesn't actually own"
"The crook, meanwhile, uses the money loaded onto the stolen gift card to purchase the console from, say, Amazon, which ships the game player right to the buyer."

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/gift-card-scam-crooks-drain-182052432.html

Mods: please remove this thread if it already exists or is against the rules.
 
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whateve

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Thanks for posting. I usually don't buy gift cards, but now I definitely won't.
 

knightal

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Jun 6, 2010
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Hi, I read this article before and was very careful about not buying cards that had the strips scratched off but they still got me!

I got 6 cards, $20 each for my coworkers, and one person told me he tried to use it but it had $0 balance. I got the card back - it's intact on the back (the card number and pin had not been revealed). I called the Target hotline and was told that it was redeemed the day after purchase in a store a few miles from where I made the initial purchase. In fact, out of the 6 cards I purchased, 3 of them were redeemed the same day (several days before I gave them to my coworkers). The CR didn't give any details but from reading between the lines, the crooks might be able to recreate the bar code on the card easily. Unfortunately, I have tossed the receipt so I will have to try to get a copy of the receipt from the store. And I didn't know which card I gave to whom so now I have to ask for them back.

Just wanted to share my story, and hope it happens to no one else.
 

rkiz

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May 21, 2016
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Hi, I read this article before and was very careful about not buying cards that had the strips scratched off but they still got me!

I got 6 cards, $20 each for my coworkers, and one person told me he tried to use it but it had $0 balance. I got the card back - it's intact on the back (the card number and pin had not been revealed). I called the Target hotline and was told that it was redeemed the day after purchase in a store a few miles from where I made the initial purchase. In fact, out of the 6 cards I purchased, 3 of them were redeemed the same day (several days before I gave them to my coworkers). The CR didn't give any details but from reading between the lines, the crooks might be able to recreate the bar code on the card easily. Unfortunately, I have tossed the receipt so I will have to try to get a copy of the receipt from the store. And I didn't know which card I gave to whom so now I have to ask for them back.

Just wanted to share my story, and hope it happens to no one else.
Yikes, I had heard of this scam recently but didn't realize it was such a big problem. Sorry that happened to you [emoji853]
 
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BeenBurned

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Hi, I read this article before and was very careful about not buying cards that had the strips scratched off but they still got me!

I got 6 cards, $20 each for my coworkers, and one person told me he tried to use it but it had $0 balance. I got the card back - it's intact on the back (the card number and pin had not been revealed). I called the Target hotline and was told that it was redeemed the day after purchase in a store a few miles from where I made the initial purchase. In fact, out of the 6 cards I purchased, 3 of them were redeemed the same day (several days before I gave them to my coworkers). The CR didn't give any details but from reading between the lines, the crooks might be able to recreate the bar code on the card easily. Unfortunately, I have tossed the receipt so I will have to try to get a copy of the receipt from the store. And I didn't know which card I gave to whom so now I have to ask for them back.

Just wanted to share my story, and hope it happens to no one else.
I wonder if it's an inside job.
 

knightal

Member
Jun 6, 2010
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I went to the store to get the receipt and the customer service person nor the security person that pulled up my info looked surprised when I told them my story. I called back to the hotline and hoping that they would refund me and cancel the unused cards as the first CSR suggested she could do if I had the receipt. But they now refused to cancel the unused cards and claimed further investigation is needed for the 3 used cards and opened a new case number. Even if the investigation proved that I was defrauded they would send me replacement cards not refunds. They told me that I should go back to each of my gift recipient and ask for the cards back or ask them to give me the card number so that I can figure out who got the bad cards. The new CSR said that I just got unlucky, the other three cards are good and I should not worry that someone had gotten the numbers. I might try to call later and see if I could get another person or go to the store and get a refund on the unused cards. Anyway, I don’t recommend Target gift cards and the run around just gave me a bad taste in my mouth.

Also the gift cards don’t have magnetic strip, just bar code. So they might be easier to remake. I wonder if someone can just add them to their digital wallet and use later. And as for insider job – it is a possibility. The card numbers are under the foil strip and only appeared on the receipt when purchased.
 

kemilia

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This is interesting. I plan on buying a couple gift cards today (Target being one of them), wonder if there is any way I can be sure they are valid. With the huge data breach a couple of years back, you would think they would bend over backwards to make things right with customers--guess not.

I've noticed that I can't find Target cards any other place than the Target stores, other cards are sold at Walgreens, Home Depot, the US Post office, anywhere those revolving gift card stands are, but not Target.
 

acrowcounted

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This is interesting. I plan on buying a couple gift cards today (Target being one of them), wonder if there is any way I can be sure they are valid. With the huge data breach a couple of years back, you would think they would bend over backwards to make things right with customers--guess not.

I've noticed that I can't find Target cards any other place than the Target stores, other cards are sold at Walgreens, Home Depot, the US Post office, anywhere those revolving gift card stands are, but not Target.
I bought some gift cards (not target) in person and I a) picked one from nearly the back of the row and b) verified that the foil part was not yet rubbed off. I don't think these are foolproof steps but I do think they add some safe guards. I also plan to photograph the backs of the cards before wrapping them so that I have the numbers in case a recipient has trouble later.
 
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Chanbal

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If this is a problem, why don't the stores just keep the actual cards behind the counter where the public doesn't have access?
I agree, stores shouldn't keep the cards accessible to the public; it must be a little embarrassing to give or receive a gift card with zero balance.
 
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kemilia

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If this is a problem, why don't the stores just keep the actual cards behind the counter where the public doesn't have access?
Good idea! At my local drug stores, you have to ask the pharmacist for certain OTC cold remedies (I understand why they do this) but they lock up the more expensive razors/refills also! Maybe if this gift card problem becomes more public, they will lock these up too.
 

kemilia

the boonies of illinois
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I bought some gift cards (not target) in person and I a) picked one from nearly the back of the row and b) verified that the foil part was not yet rubbed off. I don't think these are foolproof steps but I do think they add some safe guards. I also plan to photograph the backs of the cards before wrapping them so that I have the numbers in case a recipient has trouble later.
I plan on doing this, thanks for the suggestion.
 

whateve

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Good idea! At my local drug stores, you have to ask the pharmacist for certain OTC cold remedies (I understand why they do this) but they lock up the more expensive razors/refills also! Maybe if this gift card problem becomes more public, they will lock these up too.
That's the law for the decongestant. In my state, you have to show your driver's license and can only buy a small amount each month. It isn't enough if you have more than one person in the family that uses the stuff, since children don't have driver's licenses to get their own.
 

kemilia

the boonies of illinois
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That's the law for the decongestant. In my state, you have to show your driver's license and can only buy a small amount each month. It isn't enough if you have more than one person in the family that uses the stuff, since children don't have driver's licenses to get their own.
Or if the drugstore's pharmacy is already closed--this has happened to me on the weekends. I sniffle and suffer.