Posted by William Charles on June 26, 2019
Recaps

Published on June 26th, 2019 | by William Charles

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Recap: VGC Fraud, 40K Challenge & More

 

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b0ridi
b0ridi

Went to Lowe’s a few days ago to finish off the 10% off Amex offer. Some of the VGCs had tabs already pulled off. One had a tab taped back on. Ended up buying a MCGC instead, all of which looked clean.

Ann
Ann

From M2M: “My belief is that it is someone who works at the gift card company but I have no proof of that.”

That is the same impression I got, when the last post came out. It would be way too involved for people to be fiddling with that many gift cards right there in the store in such a tricky way (not just quickly ripping tabs off and photographing), and in so many different stores all over the place. The alternative, as a comment points out, is shoplifting large quantities and then sneaking the altered packages back into the stores.

doc
doc

Fraud comes in every variety. It could literally be anyone in the chain, from the store employees, to the gift card company, to the end user, or just your garden variety thief. It’s no surprise that thieves are stealing cards and swapping stickers so that clerks will unsuspectingly activate stolen cards.

This just means that stores need to open the packaging before scanning, to ensure that the correct card is being activated. But, there will always be another jig for thieves.

Fraud can also happen if the card-holder files a false claim – after buying stuff. So, it’s really hard to trust anyone’s word. I think that the reason most banks charge a bunch of excessive fees — is to make up for nonsensical stuff like this. The lack of honesty in the world is just a cost of doing business.

Peter
Peter

I came home with a $500 VGC from a CVS in the Bay Area today. Opened the packaging and a small strip of photo paper fell out. My heart sank. Having followed this story I knew immediately what was going on (thanks for the heads up).

Initiated my charge back against Citi right away, though the charge hasn’t posted so I’d have to wait. Anything else I should/can do? Does it make any sense to dispute directly with the CVS store manager?

Peter
Peter

Note – the strip of paper was photo paper, e.g. it is smooth with the bar code having a slightly elevated texture, so it feels on the hand similarly to the actual card (not that I tried this in the store). Also both ends of the photo paper was lightly glued to the inside of the packaging so it wouldn’t shift when the finger rubs on it. The original packaging also did not appear to have been tempered with from the outside, with no bending or ripping. This certainly is version 2.0 of the same fraud… 🙁

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