Gift Card Scams

As you do your holiday shopping this year, you may want to pick up a gift card or two (who doesn’t love a gift card!). Did you know that gift cards are susceptible to scams, too?

Here are some common gift card scams and how to protect yourself:

The scammer records the card number and puts the card back on the display. He/she checks the card balance until money is added to the card, then spends the gift card online.

To combat this, simply choose a gift card from the middle or the back of the rack. Pay special attention to the redemption code on the back of the card, and don’t buy a card with an uncovered redemption code. If the gift card is packaged in such a way that the redemption code is not visible, inspect the packaging to ensure it has not been compromised.

The cashier switches the loaded card for a blank card at checkout.

To combat this, match the gift card number on the activation receipt to the actual number on the gift card before you leave the store.

A bot runs through a merchant’s balance check system looking for a gift card with loaded funds. The hacker can then spend the available balance.

To combat this, use your gift cards shortly after receiving them. You can also load gift cards and egift cards into a gift card app or your mobile wallet to monitor balances frequently.

We want you to have a scam-less Christmas season! And if you do need a gift card for someone in your life, remember that ABFCU offers gift cards with no surcharge for members until December 31st.



7 Gift Card Scams You Can Spot and Easily Avoid!: Shelley Hunter-