About Gift Card Scams
Be aware of scams involving Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, and Apple Store Gift Cards.
If you believe you’re the victim of a scam involving Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, or Apple Store Gift Cards, you can call Apple at 800-275-2273 and say “gift cards” when prompted.
A string of scams are taking place asking people to make payments over the phone for things such as taxes, hospital bills, bail money, debt collection, and utility bills. The scams are committed using many methods, including gift cards. As the fraudsters are sometimes requesting codes from Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, or Apple Store Gift Cards, we want to make sure our customers are aware of these scams.
Regardless of the reason for payment, the scam follows a certain formula: The victim receives a call instilling panic and urgency to make a payment by purchasing Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, or Apple Store Gift Cards from the nearest retailer . After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay by sharing the code on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.
Never provide the numbers on the back of a Gift Card to someone you do not know. Once those numbers are provided to the scammers, the funds on the card will likely be spent before you are able to contact Apple or law enforcement.
Account Takeover Gift Card Purchases
When fraudsters gain access to a customers account, they may have free reign to make purchases with stored payment credentials. In many cases, however, this kind of fraud is discovered before the merchandise is shipped out, since customers usually receive an email confirming any purchase.
A more reliable way for fraudsters to wring actual cash out of a stolen account is to buy mass quantities of gift cards, which can be used immediately. Most merchants would benefit from putting a system in place to automatically flag large or repeated gift card purchases for review.
View And Download Reports
From your online Square Dashboard, click Sales> Reports.
Click Gift Cards. Use the date selector at the top-left of the page to refine the date range.
To download this data as a CSV file to your computer, click Export and select either Gift Card Details or Gift Card Summary. You can open this file using Microsoft Excel or another common spreadsheet program or financial software.
Note: The amount reported under Activations is the total loaded onto gift cards and does not account for discounted gift cards. For example, if you sold a $100 gift card for $80, well report the $100 under Activations. You can view how much you were actually paid for gift card sales from the Sales Summary report in your online Square Dashboard under Gift Card Sales.
Note: You can check the balance on all outstanding gift cards youve issued to date. To do so, use the Gift Card Details report that shows the Gift Card pan suffix, initial load date, last loaded date, last date the card was used, and the outstanding balance.
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Register The Gift Card
Even if you expect to use the gift card fairly quickly, its a good idea to register the gift card at the issuing company. At Giftcards.com, you can register your Visa® Gift Card when you activate it. Others companies do the same. Its a lot easier to work with a company on replacing a card if they already have your customer information in their system.
Are Gift Cards Anonymous
Prepaid debit cards are sold as gift cards at many stores and offered by Visa and Master Card. These cards are purchasable with cash, which enables them to be used for anonymous, cash-like digital payments. You can get gift cards anonymous & you can buy reloadable cards anonymous too if thats what you mean.
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What To Do If You Didnt Buy The Gift Card
If you are the person who bought the missing gift card, then recovery is possible because you have all of the information needed to start the investigation. Yes, you may have lost the activation receipt or thrown away the store receipt, but as long as you can remember when and where you bought the card, you can call customer service to see about getting a new one.
If, on the other hand, you lost a gift card that somebody else bought and you dont have the gift card number, then the only way to get a replacement card is to involve the giver in the search. You can either ask the giver to send proof of purchase to you so you can contact customer service or you can ask the person who bought the card to make the phone calls directly. The latter would likely be more effective, but means the gift giver has to do the work. The only other solution is to do nothing and accept the loss. My son recently had to do just that.
When the gift card giver declined to give us that information, we had no choice but to drop the matter. In this case, we had the physical gift card, but it didnt work. Without information about the purchase, we had nothing to go on and nobody to call.
How Do You Make An Untraceable Payment
If you need to make a payment on a website or app without revealing your true identity, consider one of the following anonymous payment methods.Use a Prepaid Credit Card or Prepaid Gift Card. Use a masked or virtual credit card. Use Bitcoin or Monero. Use PayPal To Be Semi-Anonymous.Jul 12, 2020
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Tips To Avoid Becoming The Victim Of A Scam
- If you are NOT purchasing an item from Apple such as from the Apple Store, iTunes Store, App Store, Apple Books, or for an Apple Music subscription or iCloud storage do NOT make a payment with an Apple Gift Card, App Store & iTunes Gift Card, or Apple Store Gift Card. There’s no other instance in which you’ll be asked to make a payment with either of these gift cards.
- Do not provide the numbers on the back of the gift card to anyone that you don’t know.
- Immediately report potential scams to your local police department as well as the FTC .
C Check Your Bank Statement
If you used a debit or credit card to purchase the gift card, then look for the transaction on your bank statement. The date, time and location of the gift card purchase might be enough to help a customer service representative locate your card number. If you only purchased a gift card at that time, the dollar value of the gift card may be the same as the total transaction charge as well, which would be helpful. Once you find the transaction, take the debit or credit card back to the same store and see if you can get a reprint of your receipt .
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How To View Who And Where Gift Cards Were Redeemed
If you want to get notified whenever a gift card is redeemed , or you operate a business model that pays out money to your partners when they redeem a gift card you issued , read on…
Before you begin – set up your user accounts
You will need to set up a user in your Gift Up! dashboard for every staff member or location that you want to track. It’s up to you whether every user has their own access, or you issue a shared login to each of your locations.
Can You Track A Walmart Gift Card
cardyou canWalmart Gift CardWalmart
. Similarly, can you trace a Walmart gift card?
If your Walmart Gift Card is lost or stolen, immediately call customer service at 1-800-411-7942. Walmart.com and its affiliates shall have no liability to you for lost or stolen Walmart Gift Cards or use of any Walmart Gift Cards by third parties through your Walmart.com account.
Beside above, how do I check my Walmart gift card history?
Thereof, can you track a gift card?
Gift cards are difficult to trace. Gagliardi said that it’s complicated to track each gift card purchased with each credit card. That makes it that much more important that credit card holders keep careful track of their card statements and any unusual purchases.
Where can use Walmart gift card?
Walmart gift cards and egift cards can be used at Walmart stores, on Walmart.com, at Walmart and Sam’s Club gas stations, in Sam’s Club Stores, at Samsclub.com and on Vudu.com If the gift card user is not a Sam’s Club member, a 10 percent surcharge will be added to all purchases.
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B Locate The Store Receipt
If you cant find the activation receipt , look for the store receipt that shows everything you bought on that visit to the store. Though you might not find a portion of the gift card number on the store receipt, you should be able to identify the gift card purchase among the other items listed. The line item along with the location of the store, date and time or purchase and the dollar value loaded onto the gift card should be enough information to help a customer service representative locate the gift card number internally. If you find the gift card transaction on a store receipt, then you too can skip to Step #2 with a hopeful heart!
What Retailers Need To Know About Gift Card Fraud
Shoppers plan to buy a lot of gift cards this holiday season. And that means retailers will need to watch for more fraudulent transactions.
Gift card salesboth physical and digital cardstypically spike during the holiday season. In Deloittes annual holiday survey of 4,012 consumers released in October 2020, 48% of consumers plan to buy a gift cardphysical or digitalas a gift for the 2020 holiday shopping season. Amitai Sasson, vice present of ecommerce at online retailer overstockArt.com can attest to this first hand. Gift cards purchased through its website generate roughly 10% of sales during the holiday season, compared with 5% during any other season of the year, Sasson says.
And the reason for the increase in gift cards during the holiday season is clear: gift cards make easy gifts for hard-to-shop-for family members. But that also makes them a target for fraud. Gift cards are attractive to criminals for the same reason they are attractive to gift-givers: theyre easy. Criminals committing online fraud want to easily turn merchandise into money. This is also why electronics and not apparel is a common product category for fraud. Electronics are often high-value goods that have mass appeal, whereas apparel has to fit and is tailored to consumers with different preferences. Gift cards are the same.
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Disclaimer Of Warranties Limitation Of Liability
Can Gift Card Purchases Be Traced
The gift card usually cant be traced, and the merchant gets a chargeback from the holder of the stolen credit card. Taking over an account and buying gift cards: With someones bank or online shopping account credentials, criminals can buy lots of gift cards and spend them or cash them out before theyre caught.
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Purchase Of Cards In Bulk
The fastest and easiest way to steal gift cards is to purchase numbers in bulk from special sellers.
The working principle:
This type of theft is done using methods such as phishing, SQL injection, social engineering, and random disclosure.
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Why Are Gift Cards Better
Cash is quickly viewed as compensation and disappears into the family budgeting. Universal benefits Gift cards combine the benefits of merchandize with the benefits of cash. People prefer to have the choice on how to use their awards. Guilt-free Spending Recipients do not feel guilty about treating themselves.
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Theft Of Card Numbers And Cloning Of Cards
The next efficient way to steal funds is to copy the number of the card. A gift card doesnt differ from an ordinary credit card. It also has a number of a magnetic stripe. It can be necessary to add a PIN if you want to buy something in a store. The second method is just swipe the card.
The working principle:
Usually, a gift card cant work without activation at checkout. In some stores, these cards are in a prominent place. Therefore, a fraudster may take several cards, record their numbers or read the magnetic stripe using a special program, and then bring the card back to the store to be purchased by an unsuspecting customer.
Then, in online mode, the criminal can monitor the activity of the gift card, and as soon as it is activated, they steal everything from its account.
Tracking Redeemed Gift Cards Using Gift Up Reports
This is the best way to track who redeemed gift cards over a period of time. Head over to in your dashboard, and you will be able to view all redemption events in a time period, along with whom, the value of the redemption event, and when.
You can also download this data as a CSV file that you can open in any spreadsheet app.
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The Idiot’s Guide To Laundering $9 Million
Step one: Use stolen credit card information to buy a boatload of gift cards. Step two: Try to sell those gift cards online for millions of dollars without getting caught.
If there’s one way that criminals love to use your stolen credit card information, it’s to rush out and buy a pile of gift cards for popular retailers like Walmart, Target and Amazon. Gift cards are easy to spend or sell and notoriously difficult to track.
However, as it turns out, that anonymity goes out of the window when you pull out a computer to sell those gift cards online. In a recent scheme described in a previously unreported federal court case, some person or persons based in Florida bought 45,000 gift cards for Walmart and other stores with stolen card info and then sold them on gift card exchange site Raise.com. The gift cards’ face value ranged from $2 to $2,000 each and were sold for a total of $9 million on Raise.
The wrinkle? Authorities got onto the scam while it was still ongoing. Raise was tipped off by federal prosecutors and asked to keep the fraudsters’ account open, Raise CEO George Bousis told Forbes, whose company has facilitated the sale of almost $1 billion in gift cards since it was founded in 2013.
In recent years, sites like Raise, Gift Card Granny and CardCash have popped up to facilitate the inevitable offloading of unwanted gift cards. To reduce fraud, Raise and other sites require extensive information from sellers and give a 100-day guarantee to buyers.
Why Is Gift Card Fraud Growing
COVID-19 had led many merchants and customers alike to enter the world of e-commerce for the first time. While online shopping was already on the rise before 2020, the lockdowns around the world turned that growth into an explosion.
This, in turn, led more fraudsters to target e-commerce merchants and customers, taking advantage of a lack of knowledge about common methods of fraud. Whether through a stolen card number or some other scheme, more fraudsters than ever are using gift cards in their crimes.
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Sell Gift Cards And Track Them From Your Square Account
Gift cards are integrated into the Square app and Square Dashboard. Theyre simple to sell, redeem, track and reload. No additional tools or training needed.
Export a full reportGift cards show up in your reporting. Export the gift card sales report in Square Dashboard for an in-depth look at all gift cards issued and their outstanding balances.
Wrap it up Redeem gift cards as easily as you would any other form of payment. Gift card balances can be stored in the same way as Card on File. Its just one more way Square gives your customers the best experience possible.
Ordering plastic gift cards through Square was a piece of cake. It was easy to customize my cards, and I received them in three days.
LIAM, THE SALT & PEPPER FOX
The Gift Card / Grocery Store Relationship
Though we can debate terminology from now until your gift card expires, for the purposes of helping you understand how gift cards work in grocery stores, I will refer to the three parties involved as follows:
- The Store. The store is the grocery store, gas station, convenience store or other place from which you purchase another brands gift card. Think Safeway, Giant Eagle and Kroger.
- The Gift Card Provider. This is the company responsible for the racks of gift cards available within the store. Gift Card Mall, for example, provides a huge selection of gift cards in nearly every major food chain in the country.
- The Gift Card Brand. The brand is the retailer on the gift cardthe store or restaurant you must visit in order to redeem the gift card. Popular gift card brands include Sephora, Best Buy, The Home Depot, Target and more. Open loop network gift cards such as Visa®, Mastercard® and American Express® are also brands , but are handled a little differently. We will discuss those below as well.
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