It’s not Black Friday yet, but some of us have already started our pre-holiday shopping. Gift cards can be great present, they let the recipient get something they want, and still show them you are thinking of them because it may be from their favorite store or restaurant. Recently, the BBB received a complaint about a gift card scam on Craigslist.
Here’s what happened: The consumer saw a $1,000 card advertised for $750. She met with the seller and called the number on the card to verify there really was $1,000 on it. She handed over $750 to the seller. The next day, when she went to use the card, there was no money on it. And the scammer was gone.
How it works:
• It could be a faked duplicate card.
• The scammer could have switched cards when the consumer wasn’t looking.
• The scammer might have made an online transaction just minutes before meeting with the consumer. When the woman checked the card balance via phone, the automated machine read the balance before the transaction.
Always listen to your intuition. If you feel there’s something sketchy about the seller, then don’t buy. As in most cases, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If somebody’s selling a $100 gift card on Craigslist for $20, you’ve got to ask why. The safest way to avoid gift card scams is to always purchase gift cards directly from the store.