A Gift Card Scam Could Leave Your Card Worthless

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When you reach for a gift card in your wallet, you expect that it will work. But this holiday season, a gift card scam could claim your cash. 

What if when you went to swipe, your gift card had no money on it?

“Well actually I just bought a couple kiosk cards,” said Jeffrey Corrigan of Wheeling.

“I usually just go to Kroger and just buy them from their hanging thing,” said Jennifer Fullerton of Wheeling.

“I bought them from the store itself I bought one from the Gap I bought one from Target, so far that’s all I’ve bought,” said Michael Romick of Wheeling.

Buyers beware, because here’s what’s happening. A scanner is used to read gift card’s magnetic chip and codes.  The cards are placed right back on kiosks to be purchased. Once cards are activated, scammers use the code for their own purchases. But the gift card scam isn’t stopping some shoppers.

“Honestly most of the gift cards I get they have to rip off the back anyway to scan them, so if that’s already been ripped off I’m not going to buy it anyway,” said Fullerton.

To make sure your card has money on it, West Virginia attorney general Patrick Morrisey suggests skipping the pre-loaded kiosk cards and purchasing from behind customer services desks.

“I would never get it off the kiosk, I simply don’t trust it,” said Steve Wiley of Wheeling.

Another tip ask a cashier for the card to be scanned to show its full value right in the store. The scam has people frustrated and asking for answers.

“With all this technology I’m sure that they out to have some way to block these scanners from getting on the cards. I mean everyday you see these advertisements you can buy these scanner things to protect your cards while they’re in your wallet,” said Corrigan.

And at the end of the day, shoppers just want someone to stop these gift card Grinches.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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