Beware of Gift Card Fraud this Christmas
Many of you will plan to do your shopping this year via Gift Card. While everyone loves getting gift cards, the popularity of it is creating new ways for theives to steal your money. There is currently an e-mail floating around the internet warning us of this fraud.
Basically, they are stealing cards from the shelves of stores where they are publically displayed (Safeway, Walmart, etc…) and writing down the card number on the back and then returning them to the store. They wait a couple of weeks and call the 800 number on the back to see if the card has been activated and what the balance is then they use the cards to shop online.
This is a very real threat but there is some additional information that isn\’t in the current warning e-mail floating around the internet. The e-mail states that you should always purchase from the customer service desk or somewhere that the cards aren\’t displayed publically. While this is a good idea, it doesn\’t take account for dishonest employees of the store.
I checked out the warning on SNOPES.com and below is a link to the full story as well as tips on safe gift card buying.
Urban Legends Reference Pages: Gift Card Theft
In addition, there is another concern floating around this year regarding gift cards. Be careful when sending gift cards via US Mail. Thieves are getting into people\’s mail boxes and looking for Christmas cards or personal letters and bending them looking for potential gift cards. Also, there is concern that some BAD postal workers could steal them using the same practice.
There are a couple of things you can do to avoid sending gift cards through the mail. You can purchase gift cards online and have them be sent to the recipient via e-mail. Or you can also PRINT the certificate and mail it that way. Thieves can\’t tell it\’s a gift certifcate if its just paper.
Please don\’t let these warnings deter you from buying gift cards. People like getting them and the chances of it happening to YOU are low. Just be cautious.
Have a happy and safe Holiday Season!
Love you all!
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