Gift Card Fraud !!!

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Old Dec 23, 19, 12:57 am   -   Wikipost
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************Gift Card Fraud Alert************

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/

How can I protect myself?

1) Do not buy a card that has been opened or looks tampered with. Inspect all packaging thoroughly before purchasing. Many posters say that the packaging looks pristine, but the glue seems excessive once opened. Open the package to inspect the glue before you pay for it, if the cashier allows that.

2) Use the card quickly. The card has no value until YOU add money. If you spend your funds before the fraudster figures out that it's loaded, you win. Or at least register your card. That might give you another layer of security but beware it might NOT be bulletproof.

3) Keep your receipts and packaging until your card is liquidated. You will need the receipt to make a claim.

I'll add a few more from the school of hard knocks (also now known as the school of the paranoid MSer)....

4) If it's the only card of its type left on the rack, should you buy it or not? Consider: did the fraudster remove all the other cards so some sucker would quickly come along quickly and buy the card he has placed there purposefully?

5) A corollary to #4: Should you buy the top card in a stack of cards, or dig deeper and pick out one a distance from the top? Did the fraudster put the card he wants some sucker to buy at the top of the stack so it would sell quickly and he could do his evil deed?

6) Open card packages soon after purchase. Don't wait a few days. If anything looks amiss (too much glue inside the pack, too little glue inside, glue in the wrong location, mag stripe doesn't look right, some card numbers illegible), call the 800 number on the back of the card immediately to report it and ask about a replacement.



Each link of Gift Card MS:

1. Gift Card issuer: Vanilla, Metabank, US Bank, Green Dot etc. There can be data hack. It is rare.
2. GC Merchant: grocery and drug stores. Online GC sellers (Simon Mall, Gift Card Mall etc.). The data hack is possible, but rare.
3. Shipping: GCs can be stolen. But this is not fraud.
4. GC Cash Out: Walmart, Dollar General, Family Dollar, CVS etc. This is very rare.

For unsold GCs with bar code exposed, the store is required to destroy the GCs. Fraud can happen when the unsuspecting store staff return the unsold GCs back to the shelf. But it is very rare to have a batch of GCs all tampered and returned to the store shelf.

Here is a web site with information about gift card fraud:

http://www.tripwire.com/state-of-sec...-so-lucrative/



Here are some stores where FT members have experienced fraud:

List of Stores to avoid or be Alert:
(1) Reported by IWOL in So Cal:
VONS => Ventura Blvd & Reseda

Reported by Lovenola:

Ralph's in Downey at 9200 Lakewood Blvd.

Ralph's in Pasadena at 211 E. Foothill Blvd.

Ralph's in Monrovia at 1193 Huntington Dr.

3) Reported by domino007

Ralphs in 13321 Jamboree Rd, Tustin

Ralphs in Irvine on Alton, Walnut and Irvine Blvd

Reported by DaveInLA:
Ralphs in Brea- 305 W Imperial Hwy. VGC was purchased in 12/2014.

Reported by 46sky:
Ralphs in Culver City on Venice Blvd - VGC purchased 2/2015.

Reported by Chrisflyer66:
Ralphs in San Diego on Sports Arena - VGCs purchased in 2014-2015.

Ralph's - 1435 W Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92868 - Purchased 12/2019

Seems to me that only People in so.Cal are reporting
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Old May 22, 15, 10:19 pm
  #646  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by mikeawesome View Post
first i tried just using the last 4 then called to set the PIN. both said card not accepted
Try again tomorrow....sometimes their POS systems are flaky this way...that's my experience all th e time.
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Old May 30, 15, 10:52 am
  #647  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 72
Don't Get Lazy (Like I Did)

I know everybody says to immediatly use your gift cards after purchase. I should know better as I was defrauded of some VR cards last year. Well, I got lazy and purchased some MCGC ealier this month (US Bank) at Kroger (TN). Went to use them yesterday (WM BB load) and no go. Called US Bank and said they were shut down for suspected fraudulent activity (sub-$10 attempted charge to pay some taxes in Plano, TX was one of the attempted charges). The lady on the phone said that the scammers know the first 12 digits (they are identical across batches) and just start guessing at the last 4. Shouldn't take long to guess at the last 4 as I had 10 cards all with the same first 12 digits and I assume there were many more with the same first 12 digits. Of course, they don't know the 3 digit security code.

The packages were not tampered with and the glue was in order (I always inspect before buying). I've probobly purchase 500 of these cards over the past couple of years, and this is my first problem.

US Bank said nothing was taken off the cards, so replacement should be straightforward (7 to 10 business days after I fax everyhting in).

Never again will I hold onto a card more than 24 hours. Period
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Old May 30, 15, 12:37 pm
  #648  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 34
10 minutes is better

Never again will I hold onto a card more than 24 hours. Period[/QUOTE]
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Old May 30, 15, 1:52 pm
  #649  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,306
Originally Posted by prestonv View Post
I know everybody says to immediatly use your gift cards after purchase. I should know better as I was defrauded of some VR cards last year. Well, I got lazy and purchased some MCGC ealier this month (US Bank) at Kroger (TN). Went to use them yesterday (WM BB load) and no go. Called US Bank and said they were shut down for suspected fraudulent activity (sub-$10 attempted charge to pay some taxes in Plano, TX was one of the attempted charges). The lady on the phone said that the scammers know the first 12 digits (they are identical across batches) and just start guessing at the last 4. Shouldn't take long to guess at the last 4 as I had 10 cards all with the same first 12 digits and I assume there were many more with the same first 12 digits. Of course, they don't know the 3 digit security code.

The packages were not tampered with and the glue was in order (I always inspect before buying). I've probobly purchase 500 of these cards over the past couple of years, and this is my first problem.

US Bank said nothing was taken off the cards, so replacement should be straightforward (7 to 10 business days after I fax everyhting in).

Never again will I hold onto a card more than 24 hours. Period
I mean seriously USB needs to change their numbering scheme and yank all the current USB VGC and MCGCs in stores nationwide and regenerate new numbers with some new packaging so that this crap stops happening.
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Old May 30, 15, 3:22 pm
  #650  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by ericdabbs View Post
I mean seriously USB needs to change their numbering scheme and yank all the current USB VGC and MCGCs in stores nationwide and regenerate new numbers with some new packaging so that this crap stops happening.
They have, their new cards are now more randomized. All the stores around me at least for the VCGS now have the new more randomized one instead of the sequential (within the Luhn algorithm) ones.
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Old May 31, 15, 11:12 pm
  #651  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 27
two vgcs were used

Bought several mastercard gcs in Kroger of carton area, MI at 5/19, two of them were used in amazon.com at 5/30. Today called custom service to stop the pending transactions . But I was told nothing could be done except disputing them. Did anyone dispute fraud transactions with us bank successfully?

Last edited by mytf; Jun 1, 15 at 7:33 am
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Old Jun 2, 15, 12:49 am
  #652  
 
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Originally Posted by mytf View Post
Bought several mastercard gcs in Kroger of carton area, MI at 5/19, two of them were used in amazon.com at 5/30. Today called custom service to stop the pending transactions . But I was told nothing could be done except disputing them. Did anyone dispute fraud transactions with us bank successfully?
Yes
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Old Jun 9, 15, 9:41 am
  #653  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 69
two postst that i read today regarding gc fraud

A Scary Story

Last night I received an email from Paul about a nightmare he had when purchasing a Metabank variable load Visa gift card at a local grocery store here in Las Vegas. He has been around this hobby for awhile and makes sure to check the packaging in case it has been tampered with.

After verifying the packaging was 100% in tact, he paid for his gift card and went to Walmart to liquidate it. At that point the card was denied and he noticed that four of the digits of the card number were scratched off. He also was eventually able to verify that the magnetic strip was cleaned of any data. The card was worthless and useless.

Here is what happened in his words:

So something happened to me today you might want to warn you readers about. I bought a 500.00 card today, I always make sure it has not been tampered with and the bar code is still covered. Well went to load it at Walmart and noticed 4 of the digits had been scratched off the card and the magnetic strip was wiped clean. It would not swipe of course. I went back to the store to show the manager and we proceeded to open that last 3 on the shelf and same thing with all of them.

http://milestomemories.boardingarea....ift-card-scam/

Cashiers pocketing gift cards

This happened to a friend of mine while we were both purchasing $200 Visa gift cards at Staples in New York. We were at two different cashiers next to each other. I purchased my card without any problems. He had to go and pick up another gift card, since one of the gift cards he had picked up, had a ripped off tab in the back. The cashier proceeded with the scanning, he swiped his credit card, signed and we left.

The next day, when he was trying to load the cards at Walmart, one of the Visa gift cards didn’t work. He called the number in the back and was told that the card was never activated. He checked the receipt, and that gift card was the only one that didn’t match any of the numbers in the receipt.

We went back to the Staples together. Talked to a manager and he started looking through the remaining Visa gift cards to look for the number that was on the receipt. The gift card wasn’t in the rack or in the back where they have the items that are to be restocked.

Remember the card with the ripped off tab? The cashier said she just threw it in the basket they had for items that people bring to the register, but don’t purchase. But it was nowhere to be found. I’m positive that the cashier pocketed the $200 through that gift card, and I think the manager realized it too. He was extremely helpful. He stayed on the phone for 15-20 minutes until he resolved the issue and gave my friend a new $200 Visa gift card.

Best way to avoid such problems? Always check your receipt and make sure that all numbers match.

https://dannydealguru.wordpress.com/...cams-be-alert/

i had never heard on this type of fraud before. and i've been lucky so far. no major problems with fraud
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Old Jun 9, 15, 3:27 pm
  #654  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Do this for every GC purchased before you leave the store.

Originally Posted by momoneylessproblems View Post
...Always check your receipt and make sure that all numbers match....
AlohaDaveKennedy is offline  
Old Jun 9, 15, 11:24 pm
  #655  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2
PSA - Simon Mall - (FL) - Fraud

Heads up guys that there's fraudulent activity hitting the [unnamed FL] Simon Mall gift cards. I'm not sure if this issue is affecting the other Simon malls, but the gift card issuer representative was clear that this is a known issue for the mall in question. And I can see that now given that the cards are poorly designed (the first 12 digits are the same). It seems like the fraudsters ran some kind of script that deduced my last four numbers and the CVV.

Does anyone else have experience with this? Will I get my money back? The representative somewhat put me at ease, but we'll see...

Check (and use!!!) your cards!
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Old Jun 10, 15, 1:00 am
  #656  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,112
Originally Posted by GCfraudvictim View Post
Heads up guys that there's fraudulent activity hitting the [unnamed FL] Simon Mall gift cards. I'm not sure if this issue is affecting the other Simon malls, but the gift card issuer representative was clear that this is a known issue for the mall in question. And I can see that now given that the cards are poorly designed (the first 12 digits are the same). It seems like the fraudsters ran some kind of script that deduced my last four numbers and the CVV.

Does anyone else have experience with this? Will I get my money back? The representative somewhat put me at ease, but we'll see...

Check (and use!!!) your cards!
What's the point of leaving the Simon Mall unnamed if you're trying to give a warning about it? I think that it would be really helpful to others (myself included) if you gave us the name of the mall so that we could stay away from it.

I get that you want to maintain your privacy, but now it seems even more suspicious that you didn't name the mall. You could've given a brief back story (like "the X Simon Mall a few towns over from me is having fraud issues"), but now we're more inclined to think that you're very close by to the particular Simon Mall in question. But honestly, though, if your town has a Simon Mall, it's probably large enough that you'd be able to maintain some degree of anonymity.
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Old Jun 11, 15, 9:33 pm
  #657  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Earlier someone asked about the Kroger chains.

Here are all the stores owned by Kroger and their locations. I think they will all have the same GC's in these stores.

BTW, I buy GC's in order to get the fuel points rewards, and so far have never had any issues. Never bought any Visa or Mastercard GC's though.

Combination Food & Drug Stores

Baker's Supermarkets (Omaha, Nebraska)
City Market (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico)
Dillons Food Stores (Kansas, Missouri)
Fry's Food & Drug (Arizona)
Gerbes Super Markets (central Missouri)
Harris Teeter (North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia)
Jay C (southern Indiana)
King Soopers (Colorado, Wyoming)
Kroger (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia)
Owen's (northeastern Indiana)
Pay Less Super Markets (central Indiana)
QFC (Oregon, Washington)
Ralphs (Southern California)
Scott's (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
Smith's (Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming)

Multi Department Stores

Fred Meyer (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington)

Price Impact Stores

Food 4 Less (Southern California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Chicago, Illinois; NW Indiana) (Food 4 Less stores elsewhere are owned by other companies)
Foods Co. (Northern California)
Ruler Foods (Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky)

Marketplace Stores

Dillons Marketplace
Fry's Marketplace
King Soopers Marketplace
Kroger Marketplace
Smith's Marketplace

Jewelry Stores

Fred Meyer Jewelers
Barclay Jewelers
Fox's Jewelers
Littman Jewelers

Convenience Stores

Kwik Shop (Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, Mississippi)
Loaf 'N Jug (Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming)
Quik Stop (California, Nevada)
Smith's Express (Utah)
Tom Thumb Food Stores (Alabama, Florida)
Turkey Hill Minit Markets (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana)
Insulator-King is offline  
Old Jun 17, 15, 10:07 pm
  #658  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 72
I've been scammed 3 times. Once at VON's in San Diego. Once at CVS (Vanilla Reload Cards). Once at Kroger in Memphis, TN. I'm 100% convinced at VON's and CVS, the cashier was part of the scam. At VON's the cashier didn't give me the activation verification slip and the card was tampered with. I think the cashier assumed that without the activation slip, I could not prove to the issuing bank that I actually purchased the card (she was wrong and I got refunded).

At CVS, I believe the cashier took a picture of my receipt or was able to print another receipt. Cashier also made a copy of the VR card (before hand). The cashier then gave this copy of the receipt and copy of the VR card to their accomplice who called INCOM and told them they had a "damaged PIN". The accomplice then faxed in the receipt copy along the copy of the VR card (with a photoshop alteration of the PIN) and they were given a new PIN. If you have an inside person, this technique absolutely works(ed). There is no other way to explain how another person was able to re-create my receipt and get a copy of the VR card itself. Inside job.
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Old Jun 17, 15, 11:39 pm
  #659  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: PHX
Posts: 379
Sunrise (sunnie) fraud in north Phoenix walmart.

I opened it up in the car and the last four digits were scratched out. Immediately I knew I was screwed. I tried to wipe it even though I knew it was demagnetized. Opened a case with Sunrise (Greendot). They can't shut it off without the whole number so it looks like it will be drained.
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Old Jun 17, 15, 11:57 pm
  #660  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 72
Gift Card Fraud !!!

Sunrise packages seem pretty secure. Did you notice any tampering with the packaging after the fact? Sunrise should be able to track the number with the barcode on the bottom or your purchase receipt.
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