Gift card fraud is committing fraudulent activity using gift cards over cash. Fraudsters can go online to monitor the gift card account’s activity at the retailer’s online portal and then strike once the cards are paid for and activated at the checkout register. The stolen goods typically are then sold online.
The popularity of gift cards makes them attractive targets for scammers.
What is Gift Card Fraud?
Gift card fraud can be broad and offers a number of advantages over fraud using traditional payment methods such as credit cards.
- Anonymity/difficult to trace – you could buy a £200 iTunes voucher from a retailer with cash and then exchange that voucher online with someone for something else.
- Ease of laundering – if you had someone’s stolen credit card details, you could buy a gift card and that would be difficult for the victim to get refunded.
- Part of an account takeover – when accounts are taken over, gift cards can be bought as a way to funnel credit or funds out of that account.
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