Protecting Your Gift Card Purchases: A Holiday Shopping Reminder

We’ve received reports of scammers tampering with gift cards on store shelves. These individuals remove the cards, jot down the card information, and cover the scratched-off PIN to make them look brand new. When a shopper purchases and loads the card, the scammer can swiftly steal the funds, leaving the buyer with an empty gift card and a sense of frustration.

Protect Yourself: Tips for Safer Gift Card Purchases

  1. Consider Digital eCards: Opt for digital gift cards directly from the merchant’s website. Digital cards are typically more secure as they are delivered electronically, reducing the risk of tampering.
  2. Purchase from Behind the Counter: Whenever possible, buy gift cards from behind the store’s counter where they are not openly displayed. This makes it harder for scammers to tamper with the cards.
  3. Choose Reputable Retailers: Stick to well-known and reputable retailers when purchasing gift cards. These establishments often have better security measures in place.
  4. Inspect the Card: Before purchasing, inspect the gift card for any signs of tampering. Check for scratches, tears, or any unusual alterations to the card’s packaging.
  5. Consider Cash as an Alternative: If you’re unsure about the safety of gift cards, consider giving cash as a gift. It’s a foolproof way to ensure your loved ones receive the full value of your thoughtful present.

Our Commitment to Your Security

At Point West Credit Union, we understand the importance of protecting your hard-earned money. While we cannot directly intervene in merchant-related issues, we encourage our members to exercise caution and follow these safety tips when purchasing gift cards. If you encounter any issues with a gift card, please reach out to the respective merchant’s customer service. Many retailers are willing to assist customers facing such challenges. This holiday season, let’s work together to make sure your gift-giving experience is joyful and stress-free. Stay vigilant, stay safe, and may your holidays be filled with warmth and happiness!

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