Active Alerts
  • No results found for this search.

Gift Card Scam


Gift card scams are becoming increasingly prevalent, with a new method that has emerged involving criminals manipulating cards for financial gain. In a disturbing trend, individuals are purchasing gift cards, surreptitiously opening them, extracting the card numbers, and then resealing the packaging to return the tampered cards to the store. This deceptive practice allows scammers to steal the funds loaded onto the cards, leaving unsuspecting buyers at a loss.

To counteract this growing threat, consumers are urged to exercise caution and adopt protective measures when purchasing gift cards. The following tips can help safeguard against falling victim to this fraudulent activity:

Inspect the Card Packaging:  Before purchasing a gift card, carefully inspect the packaging for any signs of tampering. Criminals often use heat to open and reseal the packaging, leaving subtle but detectable marks. Look for wrinkles, discoloration, or unusual adhesive patterns.

Feel for the Whole Card:  Run your fingers over the card inside the packaging to ensure it is intact and hasn’t been compromised. If the card feels loose or if the packaging seems unusually flimsy, it may indicate tampering.

Ask to See the Card Before Purchase:  Don’t hesitate to ask store staff to show you the gift card before completing your purchase. Retailers are typically understanding of customer concerns and will assist in ensuring the card has not been tampered with.

Check the Card Balance Immediately:  After purchasing a gift card, check the balance immediately. This can be done either online or by calling the customer service number provided on the card. Report any discrepancies or suspicious activity to the store and the card issuer promptly.

Be Wary of Unusual Promotions or Requests:  Exercise caution if approached with offers that seem too good to be true or requests for payment in gift cards, as scammers often use such tactics to exploit unsuspecting victims.



If you suspect that you have purchased a tampered gift card or have fallen victim to a gift card scam, report the incident to local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) immediately.

By staying vigilant and following these precautionary measures, consumers can help safeguard themselves against the growing threat of gift card scams.

Scam Alerts Sections