The use of Gift Cards have become common and preferable by many. Unfortunately, scammers are beginning to take advantage of this to defraud people of their hard earned money. This is the current scam going on in Canada. Several people have fallen victim of this Gift Card Scam. Therefore, we have brought together tips on how to discover this scam and avoid it. Read on for more information.
How does the Gift Card Scam Work?
A former Police officer, Nichelle Laus has raised alarm about this ongoing scam in Canada after escaping been scammed at the Shoppers drug Mart this week. According to her, She wanted to purchase a $100 worth of PlayStation so she walked up to the Gift Card section. However, She noticed a fake barcode when the felt the back of one of the cards. She took it to the Cashier to get it scanned. This was when she confirmed that it was a scam. The information from the scan showed that it was an LCBO barcode.
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Laus first discovered this Gift Card scam in October after purchasing a $50 Winner Gift Card at a different location of the Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada which turned out to be an Esso Gift Card. This experience taught her to always check the barcodes.
She went further to explain that these scammers go to stores to collect gift cards without paying for them. They take them home and insert their own barcode on the Gift Cards. They then return these tampered Gift Cards back to the store. If she had paid for the gift card without checking it, the money would have been paid to these scammers since the barcode has their details.
As a way of creating awareness of this ongoing scam, Laus posted the video on Instagram and Tik-Tok. The comments from her followers shows that she is not the only one that has witnessed this as many shared their experiences. One her followers complained that she bought a $250 Home Depot card at Shoppers Drug Mart and noticed it was Esso after she had left the store.
How to avoid being scammed
In the video, Laus advised shoppers to always check the back of the gift card before purchasing and they should make sure that they confirm if the details on the card corresponds with the information showing on the computer. She also suggested that shoppers should try as much as possible to avoid buying from a retailer. They should either buy digital gift cards or buy a gift card directly from the store that the gift card is for
Scammers are coming up with different strategies on a daily basis. One sad thing about the Gift card scam is that victims will not get a refund of their money once scammed. Therefore, shoppers should exercise caution when purchasing a gift card.