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Yet Another Holiday Scam Alert

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Scam targets gift cards

Scammers have found another way to dampen holiday spirits - by copying
numbers from gift cards on display, then secretly snitching the
after a customer buys and activates the card. The Jackson County
Department Criminal Investigations Division has issued a fraud alert
the scheme. Detective Sgt. Colin Fagan said the thieves jot down the
from cards displayed on racks in stores, then wait several days for
to buy the card. The thieves then call the retailer and ask how much
is left on the card. When they find one with a balance, they go online
a free shopping spree using that card number, essentially picking the
of the legitimate customer or gift card recipient, Fagan explained.
sheriff's department advises shoppers buying gift cards to request one
behind the counter that hasn't been on display. Fagan said the
occasionally hears from consumers who report the loss of balances on
cards, but hadn't been able to pursue the cases, which usually involve
amounts of less than $50. A suspect in drug and theft cases told
investigators how the scam was accomplished and described how the card
numbers were routinely traded for drugs. "This is something that has
negative impact on you the consumer, so it's better to be proactive
prevent the crime," he said.

I checked on Snopes, and apparently it really is possible and a real issue: http://www.snopes.com/fraud/sales/giftcard.asp
post #2 of 4
OMG!!!! This is a sad time in our World!
post #3 of 4
Thanks for the warning- i saw a story about this the other night on the news. They had some suggestions to help cut down on the odds that your card will be the one targeted.

1. pick the cards directly from the store- not over the net or through a "sister store"

2. pick the gift cards in the very back of the stack, not the ones up front.

3. save your reciept for the gift card - so if someone does try to make fradulent charges on it- you can prove it, and the stores will often reissue you a new one.
post #4 of 4
I saw that on Tv, this time of year is the worst, you have to be so careful about everything you do.
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