Gift Cards Scam Warning


Tis the season. For cheer. Family. And, well, scams. I hate to be a downer, but I wanted to do a post on this to make everyone aware of what is happening.

You know those gift card kiosks at the grocery stores? Well, I purchased several of those gift cards from one last year. My grocery store was giving $20 in grocery money for every $100 in select gift cards purchased (this is a fantastic deal and you should check soon to see if your store is running a similar program). I bought a lot of gift cards for Christmas presents. I also grabbed a $100 Amazon gift card to use for myself throughout the year.

The holidays passed, and when I went to use the gift card in January, I had to scratch off a code. I went to do so, and the entire back of the card started to scratch off. I could not understand what I was seeing. But then I figured it out.

Someone had grabbed a handful of gift cards. They went home and photocopied the backs of half of the cards. They then kept the real copy of the card and placed its printed carbon copy onto a card that had not been copied. Does that make sense? They placed it so well, it was hardly noticeable. I did not see it at the time of purchase. When I activated my card, I was actually activating the original card they had at home. They then used the original card and I was left with a worthless piece of paper.

Now, if I was at all organized, I could have fought the purchase with the grocery store. But I wasn’t and I didn’t. People, be better than I was: keep your gift card activation and purchase receipts!

I want everyone to be aware that this is happening. Heck, they could even just write the number of the gift card down or take a picture of it with their cell phone (I just read that this is happening also) and use it online after you have activated it. The scammers call on the gift card numbers every day, just waiting for someone to activate them. Be very careful this holiday season! Check the backs of the gift cards for fake paper backing. And always, always keep those receipts (this is a reminder to myself, as well. I have given two gift cards lately without the receipt!). Give the receipt with the gift card to the recipient or a copy of the receipt with the gift card. You do not want to be giving your loved ones a fake present. Here is some more information on the subject from Yahoo Finance.

Be careful!

And let’s all have a fun and innocent fraudulent-free holiday season!

10 thoughts on “Gift Cards Scam Warning

  1. Thanks Jenni! While I did not have this happen, I did have something different happen that folks should be aware of. In malls, teens have been stealing the cute little Apple bags with gift cards out of shopping bags (they have draw strings so it is an easy theft). I saw this happen at my local mall and had it happen to me at a different mall. Keep those small bags with gift cards in your purse or secured at the bottom of a shopping bag. They are very easy to steal if sitting at the top of a bag.

    • You’re welcome. And thank you, Shari. That is something I was not aware of. I will keep my eyes peeled and definitely keep gift cards out of reach. It is a shame that all of this is happening. But despite it, I do believe there is more good in the world than bad. We just all have to be careful. I just wanted to remind everyone, because it is the time of the year where people are, sadly, desperate.

      Thank you for the warning! And I hope you have a safe and beautiful week full of smiles!


  2. It makes me sad to see people taking advantage of the season and doing such horrible things. I’m sorry you were a victim Jenni. I hope those awful people get caught. And thank you for the heads up!!

    • Thank you Sayaka! It is sad. But I hope with my little warning, it might happen to a few less people. Or, at the very least, stores will start locking their gift cards up. It makes sense. It is spent like money. I am not sure that is going to happen, though.

      Have a great Thursday!


    • Sorry to be a downer, but I am happy to have warned you. It did suck, but I am much more leery now. I check and recheck the gift card. They should really lock them up! I hope this never happens to you. My friend had her card number stolen, but thankfully kept the receipt.

      Have a safe and lovely Thursday!


    • Oh, thank you Keiko. You are so sweet.

      Bad, sad, and desperate people. It is unfortunate. I hope this never happens to you and that your week is safe and fun!

      We can’t let them win! Gotta stay happy and focused, but now we are aware!


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