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 Jun 27, 14, 8:42 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 51
Gift Card Fraud !!!

I am new to MS. I bought a variable (20-500) gift card for $500 from a grocery store and went to Wal-Mart to buy a MO. When I open the gift card wrap I noticed something like glue sticks on the magnetic stripe. I try to clean it and when I swipe the card the card reader won’t read the card. Did multiple attempts and still won’t work. No message on the screen or says “card read error”. Try to buy something and swipe the card. Still won’t work.

Went back to the grocery store where I bought the card. The manager said they won’t take the card back and I have to call the number on the back to get a replacement card. I call the number and the card still has 500 on it. It was already night and I thought I will call the next day morning to get a replacement card.

When I call the next day morning I have “0” balance on my card. The rep said someone use the card and took all the money in it. After talking with the rep I found out that at 1 AM someone charged my card in a drug store two times for a total of $500. I talked to the manger of the sore and after reviewing the transaction details and videos, two guys went to the store at 1 am and bought 2 pay-pal gift cards using a PIN enabled card.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 8:47 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Cool story bro. Unfortunately, this forum is littered with stories like yours.
But, man, it take some serious balls to go back into the same store you planted the bogus card to buy more cards.
I hope you'll be able to work with your local authorities to catch them.

Last edited by vinhboy; Jun 27, 14 at 9:02 am
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Old Jun 27, 14, 8:48 am
  #3  
 
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Sounds like a variation on the old CVS Vanilla Reload PIN defacement scam. Badguys damaged the stripe to prevent you from unloading before they got notice that the card had been purchased. Sucks, but you should be able to (eventually) get a replacement. Always be on the lookout for altered packaging.

Andyandy
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Old Jun 27, 14, 8:56 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by vinhboy View Post
But, man, it take some serious balls to go back into the same store you planted the bogus card to buy more cards.
If I understand the OP correctly, that was not the case. The bogus card was in a grocery store, and the PP cards were fraudulently obtained in a drug store.

I'm honestly surprised the drug store manager showed videos and everything to a person who just walked in there and asked. I've tried to track down similar things in the past and they told me to get lost and let the police ask for the tapes.

I guess now the crooks have some money for some real equipment to do a better job next time, rather than crudely messing with glue sticks.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:16 am
  #5  
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The fraud purchase was done in a different store in an nearby city about 50 miles from the store I purchased the gift card.

I went back to the store I purchased the gift card, talk to the manger and he opened some of them in the same row and had the same problem. There was something on the magnetic strip. He took of all the variable ones from the rack.
I don't want this crooks taking advantage of more victims.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:21 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Please advise as to store location.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:29 am
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Instead of going back to the store you should have called the number, checked the balance and CHANGED pin while you were in WM.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:29 am
  #8  
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This can be done in any store. In this case when you touch or even look at at the magnetic strip you can easily see the difference. I think they altered the magnetic stripe so it won't work on the card reader.

Next time I will carefully examine the package and card.
If the card won't read will be RED FLAG.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:31 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by Sam2014 View Post
When I call the next day morning I have “0” balance on my card. The rep said someone use the card and took all the money in it
I hope you opened a Case with the rep ?
That is how you get made whole.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:32 am
  #10  
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awkwardflyer. I completely agree. That was the mistake I made. I should have changed the PIN. Or called immediately and put a hold on the balance.

I am new this !!!
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:33 am
  #11  
 
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Could you do everyone a favor and provide some hint as to your geographical location?
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:36 am
  #12  
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Silly question, but you're not confusing the glue you saw with the tacky gum-like stuff they put on the back of the card to attach it to the inside of the gift card cardboard packaging?

Depending what type of card you get, they are attached with different amounts of the glue and I see plenty with it over the strip and they still work fine after removing it.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:39 am
  #13  
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I am not 100% sure about the glue thing. But in this case even after you remove the glue the card won't work.
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:40 am
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thieves cannot obtain adhesive/tack with the same texture/feel. They place weird adhesives in a non standard distribution
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Old Jun 27, 14, 9:40 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by Sam2014 View Post
I am new to MS. I bought a variable (20-500) gift card for $500 from a grocery store and went to Wal-Mart to buy a MO. When I open the gift card wrap I noticed something like glue sticks on the magnetic stripe. I try to clean it and when I swipe the card the card reader won’t read the card. Did multiple attempts and still won’t work. No message on the screen or says “card read error”. Try to buy something and swipe the card. Still won’t work.

Went back to the grocery store where I bought the card. The manager said they won’t take the card back and I have to call the number on the back to get a replacement card. I call the number and the card still has 500 on it. It was already night and I thought I will call the next day morning to get a replacement card.

When I call the next day morning I have “0” balance on my card. The rep said someone use the card and took all the money in it. After talking with the rep I found out that at 1 AM someone charged my card in a drug store two times for a total of $500. I talked to the manger of the sore and after reviewing the transaction details and videos, two guys went to the store at 1 am and bought 2 pay-pal gift cards using a PIN enabled card.

The same has happened to me. I have bought a GC at Vons in San Diego, the card was emptied within a few hours at Rite Aid in Hemet 70 miles away.

I've got my money back from the GC company but it took about 3 weeks.

Btw it doesn't help if you change the PIN, the thieves still can use the GC as a CC.
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