JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Don’t get scammed out of a gift card: The Better Business Bureau is warning people — before you buy, check the card in the store.
A TikTok video reveals how scammers are putting stickers printed with barcodes over a gift card’s real barcode. Those codes are connected to a different gift card account that the scammer controls. That means when you scan a phony barcode at the checkout and pay, you’ll be adding cash to a scammer’s account rather than purchasing a new card.
To protect yourself, the BBB says, before you buy, run your finger over the back and take a good look at the sticker.
You also want to look for ripped or wrinkled card packaging.
If you are buying a gift card online, you should avoid any offers that seem too good to be true.
And be careful of websites that offer to check your gift card’s balance.
The BBB reports some websites that claim to check your gift card balance are really a way to steal money off your card.
If the retailer allows the option to register the gift card — take full advantage. That makes it easier to protect the balance.