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What This Gift Card Scam Can Teach Us About Safety

Although gift cards are safe payment methods, some scammers will stop at nothing to make a quick dollar. That’s why it’s critical to keep customer safety a top priority as you sell gift cards for your business.

Gift Card Balances Disappearing? It Could Be a Gift Card Scammer.

Are your customers seeing their gift card balances disappear without using them at all? Chances are, a gift card scammer is at work.

This scam, on the rise in recent years, results in a customer’s gift card balance being used before they get to the checkout line. How does it work?

  • A scammer enters a store and removes a gift card from the rack.
  • The scammer copies down the gift card’s number plus the security codes and replaces the card on the rack. Some scammers will even replace the scratch-off security strip.
  • Once the gift card is activated at the register, the scammer drains the funds by making online purchases.

Tips for Selling Your Gift Cards Safely

This scam goes to show that even though gift cards are typically safe payment methods, they’re still susceptible to fraud. What can you do to ensure your customer’s safety when selling your gift cards?

  • Store gift cards in one centralized location: Don’t display your gift cards in multiple places throughout your business. Instead, keep them in one centralized location, perhaps near the register, so you can keep scammers at bay.
  • Doublecheck each gift card before activation: Give each card a once-over before activating it for your customer. If it looks like it has been tampered with, use another one. Look for cues such as scratches, uneven security strips, and wear-and-tear.
  • Consider a different type of encoding: Instead of placing numbers on the back of your gift card, try creating a card using barcode or mag stripe encoding. These two types of encoding are more difficult to decode without special equipment.

Don’t Have Gift Cards for Your Business?

Even though scams do exist, gift cards are still safe payment methods for the vast majority of consumers. And most businesses have policies in place to make it right should a scam occur.

Gift cards can help grow your customer base and increase customer loyalty. To learn more about the right gift card type for your business, as well as how to keep them safe, send us a message.