Gift Card Scam: Here's How to Get Your Money Back

By Jace Dela Cruz

Nov 26, 2023 11:58 PM EST

Gift card scams continue to pose a significant threat, with consumers reporting a staggering 48,800 cases of gift card or reload card fraud in 2022, resulting in losses exceeding $228 million, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

CNBC reported that this surpasses fraud reports through other payment methods like bank transfers, wire transfers, cash, checks, and money orders.

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SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 28: Instacart gift cards are displayed at a Safeway store on August 28, 2023 in San Anselmo, California.

How to Avoid a Gift Card Scam

CNBC noted that in order to avoid falling victim to gift card scams, individuals should exercise caution with unsolicited communications, especially if they seem too good to be true. 

It is essential to be skeptical of requests for payment in the form of gift cards, as reputable entities do not operate this way. Additionally, individuals should be cautious about sharing information on social media and other platforms, as scammers often exploit such details. 

How to Get Your Money Back After a Gift Card Scam

Taking swift action is crucial in the unfortunate event of a gift card scam. Some gift card companies may flag fraudulent transactions and freeze stolen funds. Victims should:

1. Report the incident to the gift card company, providing proof of purchase or card details for verification.

2. Request a refund directly from the gift card company.

3. Report the scam to the FTC, contributing valuable information to assist others in the future. 

READ ALSO: Why Retailers Need to Focus on Mobile Shoppers This Holiday Season

Additional Protections

Additional protections, such as zero liability protection, may apply if the gift card was purchased using a credit card. Credit card issuers, including Capital One, offer assistance in investigating financial scams.

Victims are advised to contact their card issuer directly to explore options for recovering funds, whether back onto a gift card or as a credit card statement refund. The specific terms and conditions of protection against gift card scams may vary among credit card issuers. 

READ MORE: 3 Ways to Stress Less and Sell More This Holiday Season

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