Custom gift cards are popular because they are a win-win for the giver, the recipient, and the retailer. The purchaser doesn’t have to hunt around for a gift, the recipient can get something they really want, and the retailer secures a future sale and hopefully repeat business. But as with any popular form of commerce, there is always someone looking to cheat the system and make a quick buck off unsuspecting shoppers and gift card scams are on the rise.
Many people who purchase gift cards are unaware of the risks and that makes them easy targets but there are ways for both customers and retailers to protect themselves and reduce the risk of being scammed or defrauded.
What Can Customers do to Prevent Being Scammed?
There are numerous ways that gift card scammers operate but fortunately, there are also ways to prevent gift card fraud. Custom gift cards have multiple security features, including barcodes, PIN codes under a scratch-off coating and holograms. The best way to protect yourself against gift card scammers is to be vigilant.
Check the Gift Cards Security Features
A common form of gift card scamming is for the scammers to copy the card’s barcode and PIN code and when a customer buys the card, they quickly clear the balance as soon as it is loaded. Scammers also print gift cards with stolen barcodes and PIN codes. When you buy a custom gift card, take a close look at the card to ensure that it contains all the appropriate safety features and that nothing has been altered. If there is any evidence of tampering, like an exposed PIN, then the card has most likely been compromised by scammers. Do not buy a custom gift card that shows any signs of tampering, and be sure to report the damage to the retailer.
Scan the Gift Card at the Point of Sale
Make sure that your custom gift card has been loaded with the correct balance by asking the cashier to scan it at the till post-purchase and confirm the amount on the card. Alternatively, you can call the customer service number on the card to check the balance. Remember that some POS systems can take up to an hour to load a gift card after you have purchased it so always keep a copy of your receipt just in case things go wrong.
Online Scammers Target Gift Cards
Online scammers who previously asked for bank transfers are now also targeting the gift card industry. These scammers would traditionally ask for money to be wired into a bank account, but money wiring services have wised up to this and are constantly on the lookout for suspicious transfer patterns, making it harder for scammers to operate in this way. To avoid attracting the attention of banks and financial institutions, scammers are now asking victims for gift card payments as these are harder to track. It is easy to spot these scams because no official business will ask for gift card codes and the best way to protect yourself is to never use a custom gift card for payment outside of the service it was intended for.
What to do if You Have Been Scammed
If your gift card has been compromised and you have been defrauded, then you need to contact the customer service helpline, report the problem and ask them to take the necessary steps to deal with the issue and refund your money.
Gift cards are great for shoppers and retailers and it is important for businesses to protect the reputation of this industry. Most custom gift card printers are trustworthy and legitimate, but it is important for retailers to always order cards from reputable printing companies. QuickCards produces high-quality custom gift cards with a range of security features designed to protect the integrity of your gift cards.