(CMR) Authorities in Boca Raton, Florida are warning people to be extra diligent when purchasing gift cards are local retailers after scammers are targeting local retailers during the Christmas season.
It has been revealed that scammers are printing out their own barcodes and placing them over the actual gift card barcode at local retailers. When the card is activated, the money is added to the scammer’s card instead of the card being purchased. Although this scam isn’t entirely new, Boca Raton Police recently had a case where fraudulent barcodes were discovered on gift cards during a routine check by a retail employee.
The addressed the issue on their Facebook page and made some recommendations on how to avoid being scammed.
** What can you do to protect yourself? **
Closely examine the back of the gift card before you buy it. Check for signs of tampering, such as barcode stickers. Make sure the gift card’s barcode number, visible through the window on the back of the gift card’s packaging, matches the number on the packaging itself. Pick a gift card from the middle or back of the rack. Criminals will likely go for the front cards because they can commit the crime more quickly.