Just in time for Christmas. Gift card scams are making their way across the USA.
Creativity. You just can't stop it. Even when it comes to scammers. This time, we're talking about gift cards. I don't know about you. I like giving gift cards for Christmas. It kind of reduces the amount of stress when shopping. The problem is, new gift card scams are now moving their way across the country.
Now, full transparency here. In the past I have been a victim of at least one gift card scam, and I did not find it enjoyable at all. I seriously doubt that you would either, so here is what we know.
There have been multiple warnings from the FBI about gift card scams that are already rolling. Avoiding and Reporting Gift Card Scams | Consumer Advice There's a new one that's popping up back east that you probably need to know about. This is a scam that popped up in Illinois and Missouri and was reported on by fox 29. Police warn of ‘card-draining’ scam that impacted over 100 gift cards at local stores (fox29.com) It's being reported that over100 card customers bought their gift cards and then found them empty when they tried to redeem them. It went like this,
"Over 100 Visa Vanilla and Apple gift cards" had the card info stolen. The scammers quietly removed the cards from the racks, obtained the cards info including PIN number and put them back. When the gift card was scanned and activated at the register, whatever amount the buyer put on the card went directly into the scammer's bank account.”
But now there's yet another new way that scammers are draining gift cards. The FBI now says that there are other instances where bar codes where fake barcodes are being printed on the back of stolen gift cards and then replaced. When it's scanned at the register, it will send your bank account money into the thief's account.
These are two of the newest gift card scams out there but there are more that you can read about by clicking here. Avoiding and Reporting Gift Card Scams | Consumer Advice
Another popular scam is for people to contact you by phone claiming they are a government official and that you owe money, and you must pay immediately using a gift card.
Don't do it.
At this point, I don't think I'm going to even be getting Amazon gift cards. I'm just too gun shy about the whole idea of giving gift cards.
Ellsworth's 43rd Annual Christmas Parade - December 2, 2023
Gallery Credit: Chris Popper