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