Fraud Alert VGCs SoCal Ralphs

Old May 12, 14, 1:55 am
  #1  
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Fraud Alert VGCs SoCal Ralphs

Just to let the community know, I purchased a $500 VGC from US Bank last week at Ralphs. The package looked fine. It was drained the next day at a Rite Aid in San Jacinto about 80 miles away from me. The card appears to have been cloned (there is no sticker over the back).

This has apparently been occurring at various SoCal Krogers/Vons/grocery stores as talked about on FW.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/fina...90841/?start=0

It looks like all those cards were dumped at a rite aid in Hemet, CA so it looks like s/he has moved on dumping them at the rite aid in San Jacinto.

Just FWI so be careful and keep all your receipts! I have filed a dispute with Visa, and they said it has been happening a lot in SoCal.
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Old May 12, 14, 5:57 am
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Originally Posted by goodpast View Post
Just to let the community know, I purchased a $500 VGC from US Bank last week at Ralphs. The package looked fine. It was drained the next day at a Rite Aid in San Jacinto about 80 miles away from me. The card appears to have been cloned (there is no sticker over the back).

This has apparently been occurring at various SoCal Krogers/Vons/grocery stores as talked about on FW.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/fina...90841/?start=0

It looks like all those cards were dumped at a rite aid in Hemet, CA so it looks like s/he has moved on dumping them at the rite aid in San Jacinto.

Just FWI so be careful and keep all your receipts! I have filed a dispute with Visa, and they said it has been happening a lot in SoCal.
That was your hint.

This isn't just at Ralphs, it happens all over. Individuals take off the backing, take a picture of it or write the numbers down, wait for you to load, and then use it.

You need to make sure that the backing is still in tack. If there is no backing, alert the store so they can take them off the shelves.

This happened last week for me in the midwest and they immediately threw all of them away.
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Old May 12, 14, 10:54 am
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I read his statement to mean that there is not one of the fake barcode stickers covering the entire back of the gift card, not that the packaging was missing the "backing" strip.
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Old May 12, 14, 12:27 pm
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Alcibiades is correct. The "backing" strip was still there. I was saying that the card did not have a fake barcode over the back. As far as I could tell, it looked identical to all other VGCs I had bought at the past.
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Old May 12, 14, 12:38 pm
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Not that it would be feasible to do before every single purchase, but if you now closely examine the packaging can you see any tampering ?
Any weird glue or paste used for repackaging ?
Or gummy cement of not the normal composition ?
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Old May 12, 14, 12:49 pm
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I went through this at a Ralphs in Socal last month. 2 of my VGCs were compromised, both had serials that were 3 numbers (sequential ordering).

Nothing was off about the package.

Took me 3 weeks to get 2 replacement card and get this, 2 days later, one of those replacement card was compromised as well! Now waiting for it again... Be vigilant out there...
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Old May 12, 14, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by goodpast View Post
Alcibiades is correct. The "backing" strip was still there. I was saying that the card did not have a fake barcode over the back. As far as I could tell, it looked identical to all other VGCs I had bought at the past.
I'll be curious what the original packaging of the US Bank VGC looks like. I guess since I normally buy Vanilla VGCs which don't have the back exposed it makes it a bit harder to picture it. I guess if US Bank VGCs are scanned at the register just like how the Staples VGCs from Metabank are scanned then I guess it makes sense.
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Old May 12, 14, 1:35 pm
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The GC at Vons / Staples requires the cashier to tear off the back to scan the gc barcode. How would the thief do that? The back is perforated. Once you tear it off, you can't put it back like new.

I know for Walmart and CVS gc, the cashier scans the barcode on the package. Scammers would somehow put used cards, etc inside the package and glue it back up.
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Old May 12, 14, 2:41 pm
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Still dealing with this issue on my end. Bought a $200 VGC at Vons in San Diego last month and found out it was drained a few days later in San Jacinto/Riverside area. Filed a dispute and still waiting to hear back.
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Old May 12, 14, 2:45 pm
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I had a similar situation in SoCal recently as well.

Be Vigilant!

From looking very carefully at my compromised card, they use a razor to slice the cardboard, remove the card, copy down the numbers, and then reinsert the card and glue it back together again.

You would be totally unable to notice this unless you looked VERY carefully. The give away though is that once you open the packaging and remove the card there will be glue that isn't normally used and usually renders the card unusable. So one way to be be sure you don't get screwed is to remove the card and inspect it at the register before you pay. Albeit it strange looking, could save you a huge hassle.
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Old May 12, 14, 8:20 pm
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Originally Posted by sosamo View Post
The GC at Vons / Staples requires the cashier to tear off the back to scan the gc barcode. How would the thief do that? The back is perforated. Once you tear it off, you can't put it back like new.

I know for Walmart and CVS gc, the cashier scans the barcode on the package. Scammers would somehow put used cards, etc inside the package and glue it back up.
I was thinking the same thing too about the back has the perforation to reveal the bar code especially those Metabank VGCs from Staples and Vons/Safeway. If that bar code is revealed, I wouldn't touch that VGC like a 10 foot flagpole. I know for Vanilla VGCs and OVs they scan the bar code on the outside and there is no perforation the cashier needs to tear off on the back to reveal the bar code.
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Old May 12, 14, 8:48 pm
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I still cannot tell any difference between the packaging this one came in and the other ones I have bought.

It appears that US Bank VGCs are sequentially numbered. It is possible the scammers buy (or steal) the first one, record the number, and then just increment. Talking to US Bank on the phone, the CSR told me that the physical card was not used, just the number. However, I still don't understand how just the number can be used at a store.
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Old May 13, 14, 12:28 am
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Rite Aid in Hemet and San Jacinto have a friendly employee
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Old May 13, 14, 2:01 am
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OP might want to add Vons to the title since it's occurring there as well.
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Old May 13, 14, 2:10 am
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Originally Posted by Corelli View Post
OP might want to add Vons to the title since it's occurring there as well.
You got scammed by Vons?
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