Must Pay With Gift Cards
HOW THE SCAM WORKS: A customer receives a threatening voice message from a scammer pretending to be from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. To avoid being arrested for tax evasion, the victim is told that he or she can pay the fine with iTunes gift cards or other gift cards. In a similar example, a State Trooper calls to say that the victim failed to show up for jury duty and there is warrant out for his or her arrest. To avoid going to jail, bail can be be paid using MoneyPak as a bond until the case is cleared.
Once gift cards are purchased, the scammer will ask the victim to repeat the gift card numbers over the phoneat which time, the scammer drains the value of the gift cards. Victims who fall for the initial ploy are often told to go back to the store to buy additional gift cards.
1. Hang Up on Fake Callers No reputable company nor government agency will ever demand payment with gift cards. If someone claims to be from the IRS, hang up.
2. Balance Check in Private If someone asks to listen as you call to confirm the balance of a gift card, it is likely a scam.
3. Inspect Gift Card Packaging If the packaging looks tampered with or the PIN is revealed, turn the gift card into the cashier and pick a different card.
4. Check the Activation Receipt Be sure the gift card number listed on the activation receipt matches the gift card you receive. Alert the manager if its not a match.
Why Is My Vanilla Visa Being Declined
There are a number of possible reasons why a purchase could be declined: You dont have enough money left on your card. You havent activated or registered your card. The address you gave to make an online or phone purchase is different from the address you have on file with your prepaid card provider.
Bot Steals The Gift Card Balance
HOW THE SCAM WORKS: Hackers use a bot called GiftGhostBot to run through a stores online gift card balance check system looking for a matchmeaning a valid gift card number with an activated balance. Once the bot finds a match, hackers use the gift card themselves or sell it on the dark web.
RED FLAG: If you notice the balance of your gift card is gone, then contact the gift card issuer immediately.
WHAT TO DO: The best way to avoid this gift card scam is to simply use gift cards soon after you receive them, leaving little opportunity for a bot to find your gift card in the system.
I also suggest checking your unused gift card balances often. An easy way to do this is to load your plastic and egift cards into a gift card app or your smartphones mobile wallet, both of which allow you to perform an automated balance inquiry. Lastly, if you have an unwanted gift cardone that you are not likely to usethen sell it for cash. People who buy discount gift cards are often planning to use them quickly so that is another way to ensure gift cards are used by their rightful owners.
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Beware Of Gift Card Scams
Government of Canada organizationslike the Canada Revenue Agency and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will never demand immediate payments by retailer gift cards.
For information on spotting and reporting gift card scams, visit the Slam the scam Protect yourself against fraud web page on Canada.ca.
Trusted consumer information
Published by the Consumer Measures Committee, a working group of federal, provincial and territorial governments, that helps educate and inform Canadian consumers.
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Remember To Use A Giftcardmallcom Gift Card
Its important to know that rebate gift cards, customer reward gift cards, and other types of incentive gift cards often come with expiration dates and non-use fees. Since statistics show that the longer you hold onto a gift card, the higher the likelihood youll forget to use the card or lose it entirely, I always suggest using any gift card you receive right away. This advice is especially important with cards that expire or can be reduced by fees.
To remember to use my gift cards, I take the following steps:
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Safely Buying And Using Gift Cards
Remember that gift cards are for gifts, not for payments. So if you buy gift cards to give away or donate:
- Stick to stores you know and trust. Avoid buying from online auction sites because the cards may be fake or stolen.
- Check it out before you buy it. Make sure the protective stickers are on the card and that they do not appear to have been tampered with. Also check that the PIN number on the back isnt showing. Get a different card if you spot a problem.
- Keep your receipt. This, or the cards ID number, will help you file a report if you lose the gift card.
How Does Giftcardscom Work
Shopping on GiftCards.com is a straightforward process that will feel familiar to anyone who has shopped online in the past.
After arriving at the home page, you can shop for gift cards from hundreds of retailers by brand or category.
If you are specifically interested in cards at a discount, you can find them all listed on the Discount Gift Cards page. The discounted cards vary by retailer and by day, and discounts can be as high as 35%.
After you choose the card that you want, and you set the amount you would like to load onto it, you can add it to your cart.
You also have the opportunity to personalize the cards here. You can add a personal message, a personal photo, or even an occasion-specific card cover.
You can add as many cards as you like to your cart, and you can set them so that they send to different recipients as well.
Once you have all the cards you would like to purchase in your cart, youre ready to pay for your order. The payment page is incredibly secure and looks familiar to any accredited online retailer that youve used in the past.
If you chose an electronic card, the card would be sent to the email listed. If you selected a physical card, you will need to choose your shipping method and list a shipping address. Gift cards typically take about 4-9 business days to ship.
If you are concerned that the gift card will expire, federal law prohibits gift cards from expiring for at least five years of the purchase date.
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Many Ways To Tamper With The Cards
The NYPD warning was accompanied by a showing a doctored gift card that had turned up at a New York City store. Someone had taken a bar code from a purchased gift card, made a bunch of official-looking stickers with the bar code, then placed them on cards that hadn’t been sold yet.
An unsuspecting consumer could then buy one of the doctored gift cards and load it with money. The money would then go to the criminals card instead of the consumers.
Crimes like this are tough to track because most victims dont file reports, says Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey, commanding officer of the NYPDs Crime Prevention Division. In the case of the recently discovered scam gift cards, they were brought to the attention of the police by the retailer who found them.
Somebody could gift one of these and not even find out until a month later, Corey says.
Henderson notes that criminals also copy down gift card numbers, then scratch off the coverings above their PIN, giving them access to card balances once they’re activated later on. The bad guys then replace the code coverings with stickers that can easily be bought online. That can make it tough to tell that the cards have been tampered with.
In other cases, criminals will leave the PIN covering intact and instead use online bots or other kinds of computer software to guess the PIN code. In many cases, the codes are just four digits, making them easy for hackers to crack.
Giftcardmallcom Review: Legit Or Scam
For those of you who have never heard of GiftCardMall.com, this site is definitely committed to providing you with legitimate and reliable services to help you purchase gift cards. This site allows you to purchase gift cards from over 140 different companies, including Visa, clothing and accessory stores, restaurants, service providers, and much more. While sifting through all of these options, you can narrow your search for cards by specific brand, category, or occasion.
Furthermore, you can choose between physical gift cards or eGift cards. Customers that choose to buy physical gift cards may be able to customize them with a personal image for a $1.00 charge. This is especially useful for companies looking for customizable Visa Gift Cards as a way to reward or show appreciation to employees, customers, and business partners. After purchasing your cards, you must wait 5 to 8 days for them to be shipped, unless you choose extradited shipping. Be sure to go online and activate your cards before you use them.
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What Is A Gift Card Scam
Gift card scams dont happen that often, but those that do are easy to spot and avoid! Compared to credit card fraud and other forms of identity theft, gift card theft is actually quite small and the damage done is generally limited to the value of a gift card. But it doesnt matter if fraud is prevalent or not when you are the one with a gift card that does not work. So lets look at the various gift card fraud schemes that can happen and identify warning signs that something could be amiss. Though scammers can be tricky and pretty persuasive, you generally should be able to avoid gift card scams by following the tips below.
Send secure eGift Cards via email.
What Is Giftcardscom
Started as a site to buy personalized gift cards, GiftCards.com has expanded to also offer bulk purchases for companies wanting to give out rewards.
They also have an app, available on the App Store and , which allows you to send gift cards over the phone or through email. A big bonus, for me at least, is that you can also schedule when your gift will be sent.
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Worried about missing a birthday in the future? Set up a gift card in advance that will be sent automatically on that special day!
Some other features of the website and the app are:
- Ability to buy gift cards from almost any business
- Personalize gift cards before sending them
- Send eGift cards almost instantly
- Have a gift card wallet that you can use to buy cards with
- Get reward points toward future gift card purchases
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How Does It Work
GiftCards.com is an online retailer focused on selling gift cards, so using the site is pretty straightforward. Just pick out the card you want, pick a design, and choose the amount you want on the card.
They also have a discount section, where you can buy gift cards for less than their value. Ive seen gift cards on offer from the site for 25% off their face value!
The site also has a rewards program for people who make a habit of buying gift cards from them. Usually, they offer 1% cashback on non-discounted gift cards, but there are a few cards that you cant earn rewards on.
Some of the discounted deals you can get are:
- 18% off AMC Theater cards
- 12% off Bath And Body Works cards
- 15% off Banana Republic cards
- 14.5% off Red Lobster cards
Is There A Rewards Program
GiftCards.com offers rewards points called G-Money rewards that accumulate with each purchase, which can incentivize consumers to buy from GiftCards.com instead of directly from the retailer.
You can earn G-Money rewards by making purchases, referring friends, using the mobile app, or linking your Facebook account. However, various merchants do not reward the same amount of rewards points.
For example, if you wanted to buy a gift card from one retailer that totaled $100 and rewarded 1% in G-Money, you would receive 100 points or $1 off your next purchase.
Another retailer could offer 10% in G-Money rewards, which means you would receive $10 in rewards back on a $100 purchase. Be sure to check the G-Money rewards for each retailer if you plan to use the site.
G-Money rewards do expire but not for seven years after they are earned, giving you a wide window of time to redeem them. You can check your G-Money rewards balance under Manage Account on the GiftCards.com website.
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Carson City Weekend Includes Outdoor Concert Train Rides Prison Tours Movie In The Park And Moreyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
As temperatures cool off a bit, activities in the Carson City area stay consistent as live music, an outdoor movie in the park, and farmer’s market circle back around for another weekend. The Levitt AMP Carson City outdoor concert series will continue with live music and art on Saturday,
Final Review Of Giftcardscom
At this point, I wouldnt recommend using GiftCards.com regularly. Their offer to schedule gifts for the future is an alluring one, and buying gift cards for a discount sounds like basically free money, but unless theres a major change of direction from the site, theres a chance you could just be throwing money into the garbage.
Have you had good or bad experiences with the site? Whats your GiftCards.com review and rating? If you think the sites worth going to now, let us know!
If not, you can check out our list of ways to get FREE Amazon gift cards here.
Are There Any Hidden Fees
GiftCards.com is relatively upfront about the additional charges that come with their products. However, it is important to understand what fees you are paying ahead of time to avoid potential sticker shock.
The prepaid Visa or Mastercard cards charge a purchasing fee that varies based on the amount you load onto the cards. For example:
- $10 $75 Visa or Mastercard gift card would carry roughly a $3 extra cost.
- $350 $500 Visa or Mastercard gift card would carry approximately a $7 additional charge.
You will still be charged this fee even if you decide to go with the electronic card instead of the physical card.
GiftCards.com also charges shipping costs. These will vary based on your location and are reasonably priced. These can be avoided altogether if you choose to send the gift card electronically.
Why Is My Vanilla Gift Card Getting Declined
Visa gift cards are linked to bank accounts that generally must be activated in order to receive transactions. Inactive cards will be declined if used for payment because the associated bank accounts are not ready to be used. The same is true for Visa gift cards, whether you buy them online or at the store.
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Activating Gift Cards From Kroger Pickup
How do I activate my gift card?
Navigate to https://www.kroger.com/giftcardactivation
Enter your Gift Card UPC
Enter your Gift Card Barcode Number
Enter Email Address
Enter Billing Details
Once completed you will receive a confirmation email shortly afterwards to confirm that your gift card is active and ready to use
Where are gift cards available with Pickup?
Gift cards are currently available enterprise wide at any of our Kroger Family of Stores locations.
Im experiencing problems activating my gift card
We’re very sorry to hear you’re experiencing difficulties with your activation. You may contact us at where one of our representatives will be able to assist you with completing the activation process. Please have ready your order number found in your confirmation email, details about the error message received, the types of cards you’re trying to activate, along with any other pertinent details related to the experience.
I havent received email confirmation that my card has been activated.
Please check your spam and junk email folders . If you used a business email address when activating your card, please check to ensure that the firewall is not blocking emails. We recommend using your personal email when activating cards.
I cant complete my activation. What do I do?
How long does it take for my gift card to be activated?
Why do I have to activate these cards?
How do I contact support?
Criminals Can Tamper With Them In Stores Or Use Online Techniques To Drain Balances But You Can Protect Yourself
Amid the seemingly never-ending holiday craziness, gift cards can make for easy presents. But youd better watch out: Cybercriminals have their eyes on them, too.
The New York Police Department recently issued a warning after a major retailer said it discovered gift cards that had been tampered with at a store in that city. If consumers had bought the tampered cards, they would have lost the money loaded onto them.
Cybercrime experts say that gift card scams aren’t a new problem, and they’re not exclusive to big cities. Plus, they affect online shoppers, too. Websites offering gift cards for big discounts are often running scams or could be connected to even more nefarious crimes that in some cases have bilked Americans out of their life savings.
The National Retail Federation estimates that more than half of Americans will buy gift cards this holiday season.
According to the trade group’s 2019 survey of holiday shoppers, the average consumer plans to buy three or four gift cards this year and put an average of $47 on each of them. That amounts to about $27.5 billion in holiday gift card sales, the NRF says.
And that’s an enticing target for thieves, online and otherwise.
“These guys are professionals,” says Richard Henderson, head of global threat intelligence for the cybersecurity company Lastline. And, he adds, they don’t need every doctored gift card to be activated in order to be successful.
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