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  • Geebo 10:01 am on January 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gift cards,   

    New gift card scam on the rise 

    New gift card scam on the rise

    With the holidays having just passed it’s almost a guarantee that many of us have gift cards looking to burn a hole in our pockets. While gift cards make a convenient gift to give and receive unfortunately, there are some risks inherent with gift cards these days. In the past. we’ve discussed such scams as people wanting gift cards as payment for either items or services. This practice is discouraged as once you give someone the gift card’s serial number they can make off with the value of the card without having to provide you with anything.

    Another common gift card scam is the gift card exchange. These are places or offers online who ask to buy your unwanted gift cards. Again, the scam here is mostly the same where the scammers will try to get the card number before paying you anything and once that value of the card is gone there is no way to get it back. If you have a gift card to a merchant you don’t normally patronize, think about giving it to someone who does or donating it to charity.

    However, a newer and even quick scam is being reported by both the Better Business Bureau and the FBI that rips you off before you even make it back to you car. According to reports, these scammers go into the stores that sell gift cards and scratch off the strips hiding the card’s number. Once that particular card is activated, the scammers are able to automatically steal that card’s value. So if you’re purchasing a gift card, make sure the card’s safety strip hasn’t been scratched off already.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gift cards, ,   

    New wrinkle on old tech support scam appearing 

    New wrinkle on old tech support scam appearing

    If you’re not familiar with the tech support scam, here’s how it works. You’re on your computer, browsing the web when all of a sudden a pop-up appears. It says something to the effect of you have a virus and you need to call a Microsoft technician right away. It then provides you with a toll-free number. When you call the number, someone says they’ll remove the virus remotely for a nominal fee. It’s a complete scam as Microsoft never asks you to call them for anything.

    Now, there’s been a new aspect added to this scam. According to reports coming out of Virginia, the scammers are asking for a new form of payment, then asking for additional payment on top of it. First the scammers ask you to buy a Steam gift card. Steam is a PC gaming platform and games can be bought with the gift cards. They’ll ask you for the Steam card’s serial number as the form of payment. Then they’ll say the number on the Steam card is invalid and they’ll give you a refund, but you need to then buy an iTunes gift card and give them that serial number. If you’ve made it that far, they’ll gain remote access of your computer and search for any vital information they can capitalize on. They’ll then sell the serial numbers to the two gift cards you purchased on the black market. So at this point, not only are you out of whatever money you spent on the cards, but you could have also exposed your financial information.

    Gift cards have become the new currency among scammers as of late. They’re easy to get and are virtually untraceable once the serial numbers are taken and sold. If you see any of these pop-ups that say you have a virus, never call the number on the pop-up. You should be able to restart your computer and you’ll be fine. More than likely you don’t have a virus in the first place, but just to make sure run a scan with your antivirus software.

     
  • Geebo 8:59 am on July 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gift cards, ,   

    Backpage now takes gift cards as payment for trafficking ads 

    Backpage now takes gift cards as payment for trafficking ads

    After having the credit card companies cease doing business with them, forcing them to turn to Bitcoin, Backpage has now made it much easier and more anonymous to purchase sex ads.

    According to an article by the Dallas Morning News, Backpage is now accepting gift cards as payment for their ads for prostitution. The same gift cards you can buy from just about any store in the world, from your high-end retail outlets to your local bargain store.

    How it works is you purchase any one of these gift cards, like iTunes or Starbucks or Target, and give the card number to Backpage. Backpage then allegedly turns around and sells the card number for cash. If this sounds familiar, this is the same way craigslist scammers try to get you to pay them. If they’re not asking you to wire them money, they’re asking you to pay them in gift cards. The obvious problem with this is it breaks a chain in the paper trail. If someone pays for a gift card with cash, that’s a virtually anonymous transaction which makes it more difficult to find the victims of sex trafficking.

    So now it’s even more business as usual at Backpage. Just think, some underage girl is probably going to be sold into sexual slavery by someone who bought an iTunes gift card at Dollar General.

    The devaluation of human life continues at Backpage.

     
  • Geebo 1:34 pm on December 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gift cards   

    Unload the gift cards you didn’t want 

    Unload the gift cards you didn't want

    Are you a vegan who got a gift card to the hunting store? Are you an XBox player who received a PlayStation Store gift card? Are you anybody who got a gift card from Applebee’s? Well fear not, because a solution is at hand.

    With the gift giving holidays behind us many of us may have received a gift card we have no use for whether it be personal taste or the lack of a local available store. This article from the Associated Press details what you can do with those unwanted gift cards. While it has many good ideas there is at least one I would recommend avoiding, selling your gift cards.

    While the article states that there are legitimate outlets for selling your gift card it just reminds me too much of the many gift card scams that appear online. Basically the scam works is that the seller claims to be selling a gift card for some ridiculous price like half off but when you get the gift card it’s completely worthless. I’m not saying the outlets listed do that but caveat emptor.

    An idea that was not mentioned in the article was you could try to set up an unwanted exchange at your place of work. Surely you can’t be the only one with an unwanted gift card. Maybe someone at work would be willing to trade you for something you could use.

    Of course the best idea, which is mentioned in the article, is to donate the card to charity. There really is no greater gift than helping out someone in need and that gift card could do just that.

     
  • Geebo 10:56 am on November 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , gift cards,   

    Beware of this Amazon scam on Cyber Monday 

    Beware of this Amazon scam on Cyber Monday

    Today is known as Cyber-Monday, an internet alternative to Black Friday. It’s supposed to be a day of deals, but it can also be a day of scams.

    While you wouldn’t think of Amazon.com being a haven for scammers it sure can be. Not unlike Ebay, Amazon has a number of third-party vendors. Some of these vendors can be potential scammers, especially if they’re asking for payments in Amazon gift cards. A number of people claim that they’ve ordered something on Amazon, bur they were asked to contact the seller before purchasing the item. The seller would then request that the buyer purchase an Amazon gift card, then give them the serial number of the card. The problem was that the sellers were scammers and got away with the gift card money. Sadly, Amazon is not being very consumer friendly when it comes to the victims trying to get their money back. Amazon basically says that once the gift card is exhausted, the matter is out of their hands.

    There can be some good to take out of this story. When purchasing something online, whether it’s Amazon or not, never make a payment with gift cards to a third-party. This is a scam that has been going on since the dawn of gift cards. No legitimate retailer will ever ask you to pay this way.

    So on this Cyber-Monday, gift cards still make a great gift for someone on your Christmas list. However, they’re not good for making payments outside of the vendor itself.

     
  • Geebo 9:51 am on April 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gift cards, itunes, ,   

    New online scam uses iTunes gift cards 

    itunescard

    Police in Upstate New York are telling people to be aware of a new scam taking place on some online classifieds sites. According to authorities scam artists posing as online sellers of a vehicle are asking people to pay with iTunes gift cards. The ‘sellers’ instruct the buyers to call a toll-free number where they are then told to read off the serial numbers from the backs of the cards. The buyer is then out of their money and no vehicle is ever delivered.

    While this scam may only be localized to Upstate New York presently, it could certainly occur in any municipality. Scams like this also tend to ‘go on the road’ so to speak. When a scam is discovered by police in one area it could then easily move on to another. That is unfortunately the way in the digital world of today. The scam artists don’t even have to be in this country.  In too many cases people who have been swindled are often times left with no recourse. In the majority of instances in online commerce it’s often best to deal locally and with cash.

     
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