What exactly is a fraud with gift cards?
A gift card fraud occurs when one individual uses another person’s gift card without their permission. Because of this, the victims almost always end up losing all of the money that was on the card.
Typically, criminals commit fraud with gift cards by getting gift card numbers from their victims; however, on occasion, they will use methods that are somewhat more sophisticated in order to fool their targets.(frauds involving gift cards)
How can fraudulent purchases of gift cards occur?
Each gift card functions in a manner that is analogous to that of a bank card in that it allows you to load money onto the card and provides a one-of-a-kind number that can be used to redeem the card. Con artists need just get their hands on that number and check to see if there is any money left on the card. Once they have this number, they can use it to drain it.
5 of the most popular frauds involving gift cards in 2022
There are a variety of ways that the contents of a gift card can be stolen, but the following are the most common ones:
Bots designed to steal gift cards
Scammers who target gift card users have begun deploying bots, with GiftGhostBot emerging as one of the most popular choices, in order to accelerate and automate the process. Automated software searches for activated gift cards while crawling the gift card networks of various stores. Once criminals come upon such cards, their first step is to instantly get the card numbers so that they can make a purchase or list them for sale on the dark web.
Imitators working for various organizations
Con artists will often pose as officials from legitimate organizations, such as the Internal Revenue Service, in order to defraud their victims. They persuade the victim that they have violated certain laws by failing to pay certain taxes or by failing to appear in court and that they must now pay a fine or bail in order to avoid being arrested. Naturally, they also mention the fact that the victim is able to pay with gift cards. As soon as the victim provides the crooks with the number of their gift card, they instantly use the money before vanishing.(frauds involving gift cards)
One of the least complicated ways to pull off such a con is to merely write down the card number in the store that is selling it. The con artist instantly makes use of the card after it has been purchased and loaded with money by a victim. A tampered package is one of the telltale signs that a transaction has been fraudulent, but most con artists are able to successfully seal the item so that it does not appear to be suspicious.
Websites masquerading as activation systems
To activate or add funds to the majority of gift cards, you will need to visit a specific website and input your card number. In order to steal people’s credit card numbers, con artists develop phony websites that seem just like the real one. These websites are designed to fool visitors into thinking they are on the real website.
A con artist will send you an email claiming that you have won something, but it will actually be a hoax. However, in order to claim your reward, you will first need to activate the gift card that you were given and then pay any applicable fees. You will, of course, be handing your gift card to a con artist if you fall for this, as the whole thing is obviously a hoax.(frauds involving gift cards)
How to avoid being taken in by fraudulent gift card transactions
The potential for fraud with gift cards can be reduced using the following strategies:
1.No business or organization will ever ask a customer to use their gift card toward the purchase of a good or service. Therefore, if you hear a request like this, consider it a major warning sign, and end the conversation with the other party as soon as possible;
2. If you want to prevent becoming a victim of gift card snatching bots, make an effort to use up your gift cards as quickly as possible;
3. Always perform a spot check on the webpage before entering the number of your gift card.
Check that the website’s URL doesn’t have anything that seems fishy about it, and see if there are any additional red flags that suggest the website might be a fake;
4. Under no circumstances should you divulge the number of your gift card to a third party;
5.When purchasing gift cards, you should only do it from official dealers;
6. If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud, you should get in touch with the company that issued your initial credit card right away, or you might even report the incident to the local cyber police.
(frauds involving gift cards)