Better Business Bureau Warns Shoppers to Watch for Gift Card Scams

4 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, December 24 2013 Dec 24, 2013 Tuesday, December 24, 2013 4:21:00 PM CST December 24, 2013 in News
By: Hailee Hopkins, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The mid-Missouri Better Business Bureau is urging shoppers to be cautious and avoid falling for gift card scams this holiday shopping season.

The Bureau said 80 percent of American shoppers are expected to buy at least one gift card this holiday season and for this reason consumers should remain alert.

Regional director Mike Harrison said there are two ways scammers can use gift cards to their advantage.
"People actually can pick up the cards you know and they'll rub off the back, get the pin numbers, and put it back on the shelf," said Harrison.

According to Harrison, another way scammers can "steal" a gift card is by writing down the account number in the store, and then waiting for the card to be activated.

Once the card goes active, a scammer is then able to spend the money on the card. This means repercussions for the consumer.

"Say the gift card is for 50 dollars and a scammer has access to that and they spend that and then when it comes time to use that gift card that person is out fifty dollars," said Harrison.

In this situation either the gift card holder or the business will lose money.

Businesses in downtown Columbia said it would be frustrating to lose money to a scammer.

"We would be out of that money and it's essentially like that individual would take money from the cash register, there's really no difference," said Mustard Seed's executive director Crystal Midkiff.

Midkiff said for this reason, Mustard Seed takes extra precautions when it comes to gift certificates, even though the store has never been scammed.

"We have these really helpful cards that have Mustard Seed information on the front and on the back, which are really hard to duplicate, as well as a numbering system," said Midkiff.

She said the numbering system allows employees to match each number on any gift certificate to a number listed in a catalogue book.

"Every number, matches every name, matches every ID card," said Midkiff.

The Better Business Bureau said the safest way to purchase a gift card is by purchasing it directly from behind the counter at the store.

Other tips about avoiding holiday scams are available on the Better Business Bureau website.

 

More News

Grid
List
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Joanne Garone Behnke has replayed every possible scenario in her mind a hundred times. ... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 8:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia Public School's out-of-school suspension rates for black students is double the rate of out-of-school suspensions given to white... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 8:06:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(AP) - Two companies facing multiple lawsuits over a summer tourist boat accident in Missouri that killed 17 people have... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 7:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - A federal judge has dismissed adult film star Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump. Daniels... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:57:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MEXICO - A Mexico teenager faces 27 counts of child sexual abuse. Probable cause documents allege 17-year-old Chandler Douse... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:39:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is looking into a way to decrease oil and grease storage on city streets... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
FULTON - Two Columbia residents were taken into custody at a traffic stop Monday charged with the possession and distribution... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 5:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is talking about building two roundabouts on Nifong Boulevard in an attempt to reduce... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - Former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member James Wolfe pleaded guilty Monday to one count of lying to the... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A walkway outside of the Royal Inn off I-70 showed signs of structural damage Monday afternoon and guests... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - It's been five days since Hurricane Michael decimated Mexico Beach, and dozens of residents are still nowhere to... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on fundraising in the Missouri U.S. Senate race (all times local): 3... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:52:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Mike Parson kicked off what he calls "Infrastructure Week" Monday morning at the Missouri Department of Conservation... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:26:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A federal judge says Missouri has violated the rights of people serving life in prison without parole for... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:35:48 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY- A man was arrested and accused of trying to run over his girlfriend and son with a truck... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:28:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Boone County Sheriff's Department is investigating a pair of armed robberies at convenience stores over the weekend. ... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 9:54:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County deputies found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop early Sunday morning, according to... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 10:05:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
SLATER - Gloria is a 2-year-old pit bull who was found near Slater, Missouri after someone shot her in the... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 8:26:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
6am 32°
7am 31°
8am 34°
9am 40°