Gift Card Scams are the most common type of scams happening in todayâ€™s world. Here are a few types of gift card scams and how to prevent them.
What are gift card scams?
The holiday season has plunged in and so has the sale of gift cards. People use these gift cards to purchase merchandise or present it to their loved and close ones. But with new innovative things coming up, crooks too have learnt to keep themselves updated. Thereâ€™s a lot of money involved in gift cards, hence crooks and scammers have started putting their hands on it.
Type of Gift Card Scams
Switching of Gift Cards:Â
It must have come to the notice that most of the retailers instead of providing the customers with discounted rates for their purchase offer them with free gift cards for future purchase. It is because for redemption of the cards, purchase has to be done from the same retail outlet. This has turned out to be the most common of scam in gift cards these days. If you are not vigilant, the retailer while handing you the gift card will switch it with another different gift card. The switch of cards is very common these days.
Store Employee Participation:
Staffs of the stores that provide gift cards to customers may steal the displayed gift cards and activate them using the scanner of the store and then go out on shopping spree.
Fraudulent and used gift cards are sold in auction websites. So the buyer of the card wonâ€™t really know what he/she is purchasing from the website. Stolen credit cards are used to buy the gift cards and these gift cards are sold off to auction websites or somewhere else. Seller of the gift cards often exaggerate the value of the cards making the buyer not think what they are purchasing.
Tampered Gift Cards:
Crooks may very neatly slit open the barcode of the card and replace them with unsold cards which donâ€™t have any money in it.
Protection from Gift Card Scams
- The first and foremost point for protecting oneself from gift card scam is to be vigilant and keep a proper eye on what the retailer of any retail store is providing to him/her. Even keep eyes on the transaction being done by the cashier.
- Always buy gift cards from reliable and reputed sources. But even better than this is to buy the gift cards from stores where they are actually from.
- Itâ€™s necessary to scan the card and check the balance before you buy it to find if the card is valid and the balance is accurate.
- Avoid providing personal details like Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Bank details etc before purchasing the card. Since no reputed business establishment will require these information to provide you with the card.
- Properly examine the gift card for any tempering. Donâ€™t buy any gift card that has been tampered with for you might just fall into the trap.
Though gift cards are great presents this holiday season and keeping vigilant will keep you safe from being a prey to the scams that follow this great gift. Make the person benefit from the present and not any other crook. So gift well and shop better. Happy Holidays!