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Alcibiades said:   fattywallace said:   but besides being activated by the cashier at the store it was purchase; doesn't the same card needs to be activated by the issuer?No, paying for its purchase activates the plastic card

Ah, so this scumbacks first steel the card, re-seal them and place them back on the shelves of the stores they stole them from, to later wait until someone purchase them, get them activated during the purchase thus free use of OPM's?

I hate to say it but, this is freaking brilliant; although I do not condone nor have the balls to do it myself, nevertheless brilliant!

OP,

Was there any sign of usage on the wraps, packaging upon purchase?

good heads up

Didn't WalMart have to swipe the card in order to activate it and load a value on to it?

TrueKnight said:   Nope, she informed the Customer Service people and they said they don't have authorization to remove them and *most* of them might be legit. I'm not surprised; I mean, we're talking about WalMart here.
Did you speak to a manager or someone higher up; or was this some minimum wage floor person.

Seems like AMEX would know if an inactive card is trying to be used, correct? So there would be a pretty easy fix of at least disabling the numbers on inactive cards that are tested X number of times so that the thieves can't get the money? At least if the first presumption is true.

Credit cards are coded with the the Luhn algorithm. The last digit is a check digit. With 2 digits missing, there are 10 possible solutions. Start 0 as the first digit and find the number that makes the check digit correct all the way up to 9.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luhn_algorithm

corporateclaw said:   Seems like AMEX would know if an inactive card is trying to be used, correct? So there would be a pretty easy fix of at least disabling the numbers on inactive cards that are tested X number of times so that the thieves can't get the money? At least if the first presumption is true.
Or you could know which cards are on the shelves, then when one goes missing(sold) empty the account.

So why would they scratch out the numbers?

aares said:   So why would they scratch out the numbers?

I guess to make it harder for the legitimate recipient to use the card before the criminals can use the balance.

I work at a major grocery store where we sell the same type of prepaid gift cards. A common practice a couple years ago was to steal a bunch of the cards, copy the barcode that is on the back of the card, print it out onto glossy paper, place the printed barcode over a new card, and return it to the store. A few hours/days later, someone will come by and purchase it. The cashier will scan the card bar code that was printed out, which will activate that card that they have at home. A gift recipient may not find out for a couple days that the card they are holding has no value.

It is now harder to do this, but not impossible. Gift cards are now coming with raised barcodes that can not be printed or come in blister packs.

Sounds like the thieves took the gift cards home, opened them up, wrote all the prepaid credit card numbers down, and made it so that the recipient would not know what the credit card number was. By the time they report it, the thieves will have already emptied the account.

propcgamer said:   aares said:   So why would they scratch out the numbers?

I guess to make it harder for the legitimate recipient to use the card before the criminals can use the balance.

The recipient won't Be able to use the card , and also won't know what the card number is , and wont be able to call in to AMEX . They'll have to go back to the purchasing store. This gives enough time for scammers to drain it

Last year when OfficeMax was selling $100 Visa/Mastercard gift cards for $90, I wondered why the store had them each secured in a plastic security box. Now I understand why the did this....

TrueKnight said:   4. With the two digits missing, that means the real number could be one of 100 possible combination. Would a credit card checksum program be used to identify the missing two digits?

Here you go. Create an empty HTML document on your desktop and paste the following code into the document. Then run it and enter the 3 parts of your CC number (the part before the first X, the part between Xs and the part after the 2nd X). Click the Run button and it prints out the 10 possible valid combinations.





<SCRIPT>
String.prototype.isValidCC = function()
{
var luhnArr = [[0,2,4,6,8,1,3,5,7,9],[0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]], sum = 0;
this.replace(/\D+/g,"").replace(/[\d]/g, function(c, p, o){
sum += luhnArr[ (o.length-p)&1 ][ parseInt(c,10) ];
});
return (sum%10 === 0) && (sum > 0);
};

function doCalculate(f)
{
var div = document.getElementById('divOutput');
div.innerHTML = "";
for(i=0; i<=9; i++)
{
for(j=0; j<=9; j++)
{
var ccnum = f.P1.value+i+f.P2.value+j+f.P3.value;
if (ccnum.isValidCC())
div.innerHTML += ccnum + "
";
}
}
};
</SCRIPT>


<FORM>
<INPUT TYPE='text' SIZE=12 NAME='P1'> X <INPUT TYPE='text' SIZE=12 NAME='P2'> X <INPUT TYPE='text' SIZE=12 NAME='P3'>

<INPUT TYPE='button' VALUE='Run' onClick='doCalculate(this.form)'>
</FORM>


<DIV ID='divOutput'></DIV>

RudolfSchmidt said:   Didn't WalMart have to swipe the card in order to activate it and load a value on to it?

Most of the new gift cards have a swipe strip on the outside of the paper packaging. So they scan the bar code, and then swipe the package, they never swipe the card itself to activate it.

uutxs said:   TrueKnight said:   Nope, she informed the Customer Service people and they said they don't have authorization to remove them and *most* of them might be legit. I'm not surprised; I mean, we're talking about WalMart here.
Did you speak to a manager or someone higher up; or was this some minimum wage floor person.
I don't know why this got red. If you're going to shop at Wal-Mart, you have to realize that the CSMs (customer service managers) are usually idiots. The only people that are somewhat competant are the asst store managers and the store manager. Demand to see the store manager. CSMs are worthless.

bippie said:   Last year when OfficeMax was selling $100 Visa/Mastercard gift cards for $90, I wondered why the store had them each secured in a plastic security box. Now I understand why the did this....

and this would be the best solution, or keep them behing the cashier desk, that way they would be harder to steal.

jacekrsx said:   bippie said:   Last year when OfficeMax was selling $100 Visa/Mastercard gift cards for $90, I wondered why the store had them each secured in a plastic security box. Now I understand why the did this....

and this would be the best solution, or keep them behing the cashier desk, that way they would be harder to steal.


Agreed. Or, put them out on the shelf inside a plastic box that can only be unlocked by a store associate.

FW10001 said:   jacekrsx said:   bippie said:   Last year when OfficeMax was selling $100 Visa/Mastercard gift cards for $90, I wondered why the store had them each secured in a plastic security box. Now I understand why the did this....

and this would be the best solution, or keep them behing the cashier desk, that way they would be harder to steal.


Agreed. Or, put them out on the shelf inside a plastic box that can only be unlocked by a store associate.


Pass... I dont want to wait a hour to find someone with a key to open the box like in electronics.

It's only a matter of time before losses mount for the card issuers, and we switch to the chip-and-pin EMV cards like Europe.

jacekrsx said:   bippie said:   Last year when OfficeMax was selling $100 Visa/Mastercard gift cards for $90, I wondered why the store had them each secured in a plastic security box. Now I understand why the did this....

and this would be the best solution, or keep them behing the cashier desk, that way they would be harder to steal.


You're assuming that members of the staff are not complicit in the scam. I suspect that some are, considering that it would seem to be difficult to restock a section of gift cards (since they'd have the GCs in batches) as a customer. Especially since there are security cameras all over the place.

JTausTX said:   jacekrsx said:   bippie said:   Last year when OfficeMax was selling $100 Visa/Mastercard gift cards for $90, I wondered why the store had them each secured in a plastic security box. Now I understand why the did this....

and this would be the best solution, or keep them behing the cashier desk, that way they would be harder to steal.


You're assuming that members of the staff are not complicit in the scam. I suspect that some are, considering that it would seem to be difficult to restock a section of gift cards (since they'd have the GCs in batches) as a customer. Especially since there are security cameras all over the place.


Well I highly doubt they took the whole section then tried to put them back the next day. You could easily take 5-10 of these from many different retailers and never even be noticed. Then return them to different retailers or even the same ones. I good Loss Prevention guy may be able to spot these people but could take a lot of time.

FragOut said:   JTausTX said:   jacekrsx said:   bippie said:   Last year when OfficeMax was selling $100 Visa/Mastercard gift cards for $90, I wondered why the store had them each secured in a plastic security box. Now I understand why the did this....

and this would be the best solution, or keep them behing the cashier desk, that way they would be harder to steal.


You're assuming that members of the staff are not complicit in the scam. I suspect that some are, considering that it would seem to be difficult to restock a section of gift cards (since they'd have the GCs in batches) as a customer. Especially since there are security cameras all over the place.


Well I highly doubt they took the whole section then tried to put them back the next day. You could easily take 5-10 of these from many different retailers and never even be noticed. Then return them to different retailers or even the same ones. I good Loss Prevention guy may be able to spot these people but could take a lot of time.


Or what about just taking a picture of the numbers with your phone, in the store?

Quikboy4 said:   Or what about just taking a picture of the numbers with your phone, in the store?The CC number and most other important numbers on the gift card are hidden by the packaging.

TrueKnight said:   Also, the magnetic stripe on the back has the ends on both sides scratched off. Thus the card cannot be swipedCannot swipe the card, cannot use online, cannot check the balance, and w/o a card number its almost useless to call AMEX ... Evil

And it will take some time for the person who received as a gift to even know where it was bought. AMEX wont know since the card number is incomplete, only the original purchaser will know

seems like the effort-risk-reward ratios of such a scam is pretty weak

nwill002 said:   seems like the effort-risk-reward ratios of such a scam is pretty weak

Unless the thief hits a store used by a heavy churner...PROFIT!

This is OT (sorry) but I am trying to find the thread we had here in FWF a while back that lists the retailers who carry gift cards to other retailers. I searched and only found an old thread from 2006.

Does anyone have the link to the newer thread please? Thanks!

newbietx said:   This is OT (sorry) but I am trying to find the thread we had here in FWF a while back that lists the retailers who carry gift cards to other retailers. I searched and only found an old thread from 2006.

Does anyone have the link to the newer thread please? Thanks!


Kmart and Staples are 2 that I'm aware of.

suezyque said:   newbietx said:   This is OT (sorry) but I am trying to find the thread we had here in FWF a while back that lists the retailers who carry gift cards to other retailers. I searched and only found an old thread from 2006.

Does anyone have the link to the newer thread please? Thanks!


Kmart and Staples are 2 that I'm aware of.


Thanks, there was a thread more recently (like in last few months) which listed the various retailers and the list of gift cards that each of them carried. I am looking for that thread.

newbietx said:   This is OT (sorry) but I am trying to find the thread we had here in FWF a while back that lists the retailers who carry gift cards to other retailers. I searched and only found an old thread from 2006.

Does anyone have the link to the newer thread please? Thanks!


Old thread was archived and quick summary was lost. Quick summary has been restored to here: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1001041/

Centrifuge41 you are awesome! Thank you so much!

nwill002 said:   seems like the effort-risk-reward ratios of such a scam is pretty weak

Not at all. Write a bit of code that runs through the numbers the thief has, a few times a day (maybe by trying to charge a dollar or so to a fake overseas merchant account the thief has set up). Set an alert whenever a card is activated. Clone a new card, go shopping.

TrueKnight said:   Nope, she informed the Customer Service people and they said they don't have authorization to remove them and *most* of them might be legit. I'm not surprised; I mean, we're talking about WalMart here.So given that it seems pretty clear that this is fraudulent activity, is there someone at AMEX to talk to that might be interested in investigating this, thereby forcing WM to do something? After all, they'll be eating the loss on this, when the remaining cards are sold.

I remeber the fees for purchasing the AMEX prepaid card was more expensive than the green dot card. I guess the theives find hacking the AMEX prepaid card is easier and less people would notice the difference.

billrubin said:   TrueKnight said:   Nope, she informed the Customer Service people and they said they don't have authorization to remove them and *most* of them might be legit. I'm not surprised; I mean, we're talking about WalMart here.So given that it seems pretty clear that this is fraudulent activity, is there someone at AMEX to talk to that might be interested in investigating this, thereby forcing WM to do something? After all, they'll be eating the loss on this, when the remaining cards are sold.

I started a thread last year when a Walgreens gift card (store gift card) that I bought off of the rack and never lost, was somehow cloned before I purchased it. The fraudster was able to call in verify when the card was loaded and used many states away.

My experience was to hit on several fronts.

1) Contact Wal-Mart's corporate office. I am sure they have a dedicated fraud loss department for gift cards (Walgreens did).

2) Dispute with your credit card.

3) Follow-up with a complaint if WalMart drags their feet (give it a month) http://www.occ.gov/topics/consumer-protection/index-consumer-pro...

My complaint was actually forwarded by the OCC to another branch, but the point is you get attention (there is no reason to allow for this to drag on for months).

The Visa prepaids sold on the Gift Card Mall kiosks have a perforated cardboard strip over the bar code and are extremely easy to spot if tampered with (flap either falls open or completely removed). If you don't see (and hear) the flap being torn away by the cashier DO NOT BUY IT.

Probably see this kind of thing 1 out of every 3 store visits. It is extremely common.

These scams are common because risk or prosecution is negligible. Most stores have cameras that can spot and identify the culprits after the fact, cops don't want to pursue small-criminals.

Best thing is to go to bank and get gift cards, my bank offers them for $4.95 fee.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Usually Armenian scammers in LAGlendale!!

do the chinese way...buy chinese red envelop and put in the $100. unless that $100 cash is fake too. lol cash have the best cash value.

i hate all these gift cards, why restrict your cash? why trade an item that can be use everywhere for an item that only be use at a few locations?



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