In a TikTok posted on Monday, Cathy Pedrayes warned that gift card scams are on the rise this holiday season. Pedrayes has built a following on TikTok by sharing safety tips and tricks.
“Scammers are taking gift cards, taking pictures of the numbers and replacing security tapes,” she said. “Or they put their own barcode on top of the real one so when you top up it goes to their hands.”
She recommends that shoppers notify store staff if the gift card packaging looks fake.
“It happened all over the country,” Pedrayes wrote in the video’s comment section. “But holidays are [definitely] peak for scams. ”
Follow Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “gift cards are reported more often than any other payment method for fraud”. Between January and September of this year, 400,000 Americans lost a total of $148 million in gift card fraud.
The more common scams the FTC described in its December report are different from Pedrayes’ PSA, but the report acknowledges that scammers use a multitude of ways to get money with gift cards.
“Scammers prefer gift cards because they are easy to find and buy, and they offer fewer protections for buyers than some payment options,” said Emma Fletcher of the FTC in the Commission’s report. other math.
WJLA-TV reported the scam Pedrayes described in TikTok and suggested that shoppers buy gift cards from a stand near the cash register, which can be easily seen by store employees at all times.
Commenters on the Pedrayes video suggest that gift cards are placed in a secure box that employees must unlock at checkout or on a shelf.
Another user said that they were once the victim of a gift card scam.
“There is this [happen] 6 years ago”, wrote @lovepets881. “Best get one [e-gift card]. ”
The Daily Dot has contacted Pedrayes.
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* First published: December 17, 2021, 6:34 p.m. CST
Tricia Crimmins is a journalist and comedian based in New York City. She is studying at Columbia School of Journalism and is a regular contributor to the Daily Dot. Previously, she wrote for Mashable, Complex Networks and Moment magazine. She can be found on Twitter at @TriciaCrimmins.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/tiktok-gift-card-scam/ TikToker warns scammers to steal gift card numbers