Gift Card Fraud !!!

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Old Aug 16, 18, 12:48 pm   -   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.

Seems to me that only People in so.Cal are reporting
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Old Sep 5, 14, 5:14 am
  #121  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 205
Originally Posted by RFDMinnesota View Post
And I have far too many cards in my wallet to accommodate any giftcards
I think this is a common problem with us MS'ers. I carry about 7 or 8 CC with me right now. I am usually carrying a few that I am meeting min-spend with, and also a few select ones that I use to get all my category bonuses. It leaves me with a very fat wallet, even though I hardly ever carry cash.
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Old Sep 5, 14, 11:32 am
  #122  
jmw
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern California
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Originally Posted by RFDMinnesota View Post
Certainly appears that way. Filed a police report Friday.

Card was used at places with great loss prevention like target, Macy's and best buy so I feel confident we'll be able to at least get a good look at who it is. Though unfortunately, it's probably someone I know....
I hope you can get this co-worker fired ASAP and hopefully a jail sentence as well. Good luck. If you don't give him the boot, he will steal from you again.
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Old Sep 6, 14, 3:38 am
  #123  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Amazing how much fraud is out there that west coast ms'ers are running into.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 1:54 pm
  #124  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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I'm located in the upper Midwest
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Old Sep 11, 14, 8:54 pm
  #125  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 131
Bought 2 US Bank VGC from grocery store two days ago, tried to load BB today morning, I noticed fraudulent charges on both. I drained the remaining and filed a dispute. US Bank VGC numbers are easy to predict, if you know what I mean. All fraudulent charges were online purchases. Just be careful out there.

Last edited by Johnnycomeslater; Sep 13, 14 at 2:49 am
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Old Sep 11, 14, 9:04 pm
  #126  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by Johnnycomeslater View Post
Bought 2 US Bank VGC from grocery store two days ago, tried to load BB today morning, I noticed fraudulent charges on both. I drained the remaining and filled a dispute. Once I didn't drain in less than 24 hours and bang. US Bank VGC numbers are easy to predict, if you know what I mean. All fraudulent charges were online purchases. Just be careful out there.
Be describe the packaging. Did it show any signs of tampering? Did you even inspect the packaging of the VGCs before buying them? Was the glue not sticky when you pulled the VGC from the packaging? How much were the fraudalent charges on the both the VGCs?

I see a lot of times people fail to take the 20 seconds to fully inspect the packaging of the VGC which is crazy to me. It will probably be a good idea to confirm your balance of your VGCs before going to WM.
ericdabbs is offline  
Old Sep 11, 14, 9:20 pm
  #127  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 131
The cards both looked perfectly fine, I called and set the pins right after the purchase and the funds were correct at the time. The fraudulent charges occurred 24 hours after the purchase and there were all online transactions.
It might be some insider job or the fact that US Bank VGC numbers are very predictable.

Originally Posted by ericdabbs View Post
Be describe the packaging. Did it show any signs of tampering? Did you even inspect the packaging of the VGCs before buying them? Was the glue not sticky when you pulled the VGC from the packaging? How much were the fraudalent charges on the both the VGCs?

I see a lot of times people fail to take the 20 seconds to fully inspect the packaging of the VGC which is crazy to me. It will probably be a good idea to confirm your balance of your VGCs before going to WM.
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Old Sep 12, 14, 1:23 am
  #128  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 55
Do they not follow the Luhn algorithm?
Corelli is offline  
Old Sep 12, 14, 4:01 pm
  #129  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 56
Look at the GC packages front and back and compare them with others.
If they are similar, roll the dices.
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Old Sep 12, 14, 6:33 pm
  #130  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 131
Originally Posted by Corelli View Post
Do they not follow the Luhn algorithm?
The first 12 digits were identical, the last 4 digits were apart by 6. There was nothing suspicious about the packaging or glue or the card, all looked normal. I was lucky to find out about it and drain it pretty quickly.
I faxed the receipts along with my info to their 414 number. Anybody has an experience with them (mygiftcardsite.com) on how long before I get the refund? They already canceled both cards.

Last edited by Johnnycomeslater; Sep 13, 14 at 2:32 am
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Old Sep 12, 14, 11:13 pm
  #131  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 97
They won't do anything for 30 days. Then they'll send you an affadavit that you have to sign and return in 14 days. Then they'll give the vendors 30 days to respond. Then they'll take another inordinate amount of time to replace your cards.

Basically, you won't see those funds before 2015.
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Old Sep 12, 14, 11:28 pm
  #132  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by Johnnycomeslater View Post
The cards both looked perfectly fine, I called and set the pins right after the purchase and the funds were correct at the time. The fraudulent charges occurred 24 hours after the purchase and there were all online transactions.
It might be some insider job or the fact that US Bank VGC numbers are very predictable.
I don't know man...I don't buy it. Are you sure that there was not even a hint of tampering. A sticker label barcode or some sort of slit or the glue was suspect. There has to be some way the scamsters were able to know exactly when the card was scanned so that they know it has money loaded to it so they can start dumping funds.
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Old Sep 13, 14, 12:26 am
  #133  
 
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Back in June, I bought a VGC from a Ralph's in SoCal. I always check the packaging to make sure they have not been tampered with. I bought it on a Sunday morning but didn't set the pin until the next day. That's when I noticed that the balance was $495 instead of the $500 I had loaded. I pulled up the activity on the website and there was a $5 charge from a Walmart in Minnesota. I called CS and they confirmed the charge in Minnesota so we reported the card as lost. It took 8 weeks to get a replacement card from the time I faxed in the receipts and a copy of the card. I personally think the card was breached before it was packaged.
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Old Sep 13, 14, 1:32 am
  #134  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 55
gc purchased from Vons in SoCal was also tampered with back in April. Luckily the scamster tried to use the card before I purchased it, so it had an automatic hold on it as soon as it was purchased. Faxed in docs and had a new card within a few days.

Moral of the story is: if at all possible, don't purchase ANY gift cards from supermarkets in SoCal.

From what I'm seeing, that's where all the tampered cards are at.
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Old Sep 13, 14, 2:33 am
  #135  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by Corelli View Post
gc purchased from Vons in SoCal was also tampered with back in April. Luckily the scamster tried to use the card before I purchased it, so it had an automatic hold on it as soon as it was purchased. Faxed in docs and had a new card within a few days.

Moral of the story is: if at all possible, don't purchase ANY gift cards from supermarkets in SoCal.

From what I'm seeing, that's where all the tampered cards are at.
What evidence was shown to you that hinted that it was tampered with after the fact?
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