By Now Habersham
Gift cards are an easy option for holiday giving, but Hall County Sheriff’s investigators warn shoppers to be cautious, especially if they’re buying from racks in big box stores. The warning comes as a gift card scam has surfaced in nearby counties, the sheriff’s office says.
Investigators have found that scammers will print out their own barcodes and place those over the real barcodes on gift cards at local retailers. When the card is activated, the money is added to an existing card owned by the scammer instead of the card being purchased, so not only is the buyer being ripped off, but the gift recipient gets a card with no value.
To safeguard against such scams, HCSO offers these tips:
- Always examine the back of the gift card before buying it. Check for signs of tampering, such as a barcode sticker.
- Compare the gift card’s barcode number, visible on the back of the packaging, to the number on the packaging itself.
- Select a gift card from the middle or the back of the rack. They’re less likely to have been tampered with.
If you find you’ve been victimized by a gift card scam, you should
contact the company that issued the card. You can also file a report
with law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the card was purchased.
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Hall County Sheriff’s Office: Beware of gift card scams this holiday season