SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Authorities have issued a scam warning as the holiday shopping season is in full swing.
Scammers may be targeting gift cards that you haven’t even paid for yet, according to the Boca Raton Police Department, which said it recently investigated such a case brought to them by a local retail worker.
Police say scammers are printing out their own barcodes and putting them over the real barcode at local stores.
When you try to activate the gift card, the money you put on the card then goes to the scammer’s account instead of being loaded onto the card you bought.
Police have issued the following tips to avoid becoming a victim:
- Inspect the back of each gift card before buying
- Check for signs of tampering, such as barcode stickers
- Check to see that the gift card’s barcode number is visible through the window on the back of the gift card’s packaging and matches the number on the packaging itself
- Stay away from gift cards right at the front and rather choose one towards the middle or back of the rack