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Holiday Shoppers Beware: Gift Card Scammers Targeting Unwary Consumers

As the holiday season approaches, consumers are being urged to exercise caution when purchasing gift cards, as a new scam tactic is on the rise. Scammers have devised cunning methods to defraud unsuspecting shoppers, and it’s crucial to stay informed and vigilant. Here are the key details you need to know to avoid falling victim to this growing threat.

1. Barcode Sticker Deception

One of the latest tactics employed by scammers involves covering legitimate gift cards with their own activated barcode stickers. By doing so, they gain access to the funds you load onto the card, leaving you with an empty balance. Shoppers are advised to pay close attention to the cards they purchase, scrutinizing them for any unusual or suspicious stickers.

2. Card Number Tampering

Scammers have also been removing or scratching off the card numbers and then surreptitiously reshelving the tampered cards. Unsuspecting buyers may unwittingly purchase these compromised cards, only to find out later that their value has been drained. To avoid falling victim to this trick, consumers should take extra precautions when selecting their gift cards.

Safety Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to Gift Card Scams

To safeguard your hard-earned money and enjoy a hassle-free holiday season, consider implementing these safety measures:

💳 Ask Cashier to Inspect the Card: When purchasing a gift card, request that the cashier open the card and thoroughly inspect it for any signs of tampering or unusual stickers.

💳 Feel for the Entire Card: Run your fingers over the entire surface of the card to ensure that the numbers have not been altered or scratched off.

💳 Buy Cards from Behind the Counter: Whenever possible, opt to buy gift cards that are kept behind the counter. This reduces the likelihood of scammers having access to them.

💳 Report Scams: If you suspect that you have fallen victim to a gift card scam or have come across any fraudulent activity, don’t hesitate to report it to your local police department. Prompt reporting can help authorities take action against scammers and prevent further victimization.

This holiday season, let’s all stay vigilant and protect ourselves from gift card scams. By following these safety tips and staying informed, you can ensure a safe and joyous holiday season for yourself and your loved ones.

Remember, your safety is our priority. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Readers are encouraged to exercise caution and seek professional guidance when dealing with potential scams or fraudulent activities.

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