SAPOL investigate spate of gift card scams

SAPOL are warning shoppers to be extra vigilant when purchasing gift cards, following a series of scams.

Image credit: SAPOL

South Australian Police have warned the public to be cautious when buying gift cards, following an investigation into a series of gift card scams.

It’s been reported that blank gift cards were stolen from various stores across Adelaide, with the unique barcode and PIN of the cards manipulated and recorded by scammers, who then return them back to the stores shelves.

Police believe that once a customer buys the gift card, the scammers then head to a store and use the same digital gift card on their phone to make purchases.

Image credit: SAPOL

They then reportedly return to the shop before the card owner can use it, with the unaware card holder attempting to use it, only to find no balance left on the card.

SAPOL have urged shoppers to be extra vigilant when purchasing gift cards, by checking whether the scratch off surface of the PIN sticker and the adhesive has been tampered with.

The ACCC reports that Australians lost over $850 million to scams and made 444,164 scam reports last year.

At a time of the year when scams are targeted at shoppers and online buyers, it is important for the community to ensure they’re on top of the game to avoid being a target.

Police ask that if you identify a suspicious gift card, to contact the store and report it to Crime Stoppers South Australia on 1800 333 000.

For more info, head to the SAPOL website.

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