NEW YORK (WABC) -- Victims are taking to TikTok and other social media platforms to vent about the disappointment of buying and giving gift cards that turn out to be compromised. There are new scams to watch out for.
7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda joins the Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10 team to talk about what shoppers should look for so they don't get scammed.
Gift cards are the most requested gift this year, but on average $170 per person get wasted!
Not only do gift cards collect dust in a drawer and go to waste, thieves have found the convenient displays all throughout every retail outlet and convenience store super easy target to steal and simply put back on the shelf.
Social media's filled with gifters and recipients who think there's money loaded up only to find the cards purchased and given are worthless.
Criminal are stealing gift cards in bulk prompting a public service announcement from a police officer which went viral.
"What they did was cut off the top and this is the code, take the bottom, and just like that you have a brand new gift card," the officer demonstrates.
Make sure you:
- Feel the card to make sure it's the right size
- Ask clerk to remove the card from the envelope
- Check the magnetic strip
Gift cards are also the currency of choice for scammers with many victims turning to 7 On Your Side. They are often out hundreds to even thousands buying cards and providing codes to con artists pretending be the IRS, loan officers, your computer or cell phone company, or even a utility.
Remember, no legitimate agency will ask customers to pay by gift card. If someone calls you and ask you to go and get gift cards for payment, hang up, it's a scam.
If you're buying a gift card always make sure the back hasn't been torn or someone may steal the money you just loaded.
If you get a card you don't want from a store, don't fret.
Swap or sell it on a website like Gift Card Granny, GiftCards.com, or Coupon Cabin.
Then, you can get something you like and also buy gift cards at a discount, like a $100 gift card for $90.