In 2018, the worth of gift card industry in the US reached
$160 billion. It is expected to climb up further this year. Gift cards are
profitable to retailers and allow freedom to customers to select their gifts.
At the same time,
gift cards are now a great target for scammers and fraudsters for stealing balances and laundering money. Because of
simple access and less chances of prosecution, gift card frauds have
sky-rocketed in past few years. FTC figures indicate that scamming through gift
cards has boomed since 2015 (7% to over 26%), in the current year.
Tips for Stopping
Fraud for Retailers
Following tips indicate how to avoid gift card fraud:
Captcha code on website
Stop hacker bots to compromise your website through making
use of captcha check and security tools to make the bot to prove that it is not a machine but human.
Personalization and identification of gift card
You must cross-reference personal information of customers, engage
with return customers, offer deals and promotions on gift cards, offering options
for customization such that it is simple for customers to detect any switching
You can hide the bar code of the card by offering a
scratch-off coating. For avoiding cloning of gift card, there is a need for a
scratch away PIN for checking balances through the net. You may also indicate
multiple or repeated balance checks for potentially fraudulent activity. For
preventing laundering, a scratch-away
PIN is needed for activating gift cards in place of activating the latter at sale
You must train your personnel to identify cards with
TIPS FOR CUSTOMERS
Following are tips to avoid gift card fraud for
Purchase gift cards from trustworthy, reputed
Steer clear of purchasing gift cards from sites featuring
online auctions since cards maybe stolen or counterfeit. Purchase online if you
are buying a gift card of high value.
Check for any tampering of card
Ideally, seek gift cards stored safely at the counter or in
good packaging and sealing. Ascertain that no stickers are removed. Ensure that any codes at the card’s back have
not been tampered with, to display PIN number. You must report any information
of damaged cards at the store issuing the cards.
Maintain safe receipts of gift cards
No matter whether you are receiving or giving a gift card,
keep safe all original purchase receipts or ID number of the card along with
Go through details
Check details of gift card like fees for handling, shipping
and usage, any expiry dates, any fees for usage or its value on being idle for some
Keep tabs on checkout
To avoid potential switch of cards at check-out, train your
eye continually upon the gift card throughout. Insist that it be returned to
you as fast as possible, after activation. Ascertain number of gift card on
activation slip so that it is the same as the number featured on your gift
Use card as fast as possible
It is quite common that
a gift card is forgotten or misplaced. If you use them early, you are
likely to get full value.
These are some of the tips to help avoid gift card scams. By
following these, you can also avoid scams involving e gift cards India. Gift
card fraud is rampant in case of both physical and digital gift cards. Keep
your eyes open to avoid being scammed.