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Why Robocallers and Scammers Love Gift Cards
Wall St Journal ^ | December 22, 2019 | Sarah Krouse

Posted on 12/23/2019 9:28:50 PM PST by SunkenCiv

Holly Kay bought eight $1,000 Macy’s gift cards at a California mall because a scammer told her to on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Forty minutes later, she bought $13,000 more in gift cards at that store.

The ease with which Ms. Kay was able to complete those purchases underscores the growing popularity of gift cards among scammers seeking quick, hard-to-trace ways to take money from their victims.

Buying multiple gift cards is often easier than initiating a wire transfer, because the cards are easily purchased and the numbers can be sent instantly by phone or text message to a fraudster who might otherwise have to wait for a large bank transaction to clear, law-enforcement officials say.

The gift cards Ms. Kay, 68 years old, purchased at Macy’s Inc. were among nearly 120 that she bought from several retailers in one week, as part of a scam in which a fraudster told her she was helping catch a hacker who had compromised her home computer.

At the fraudster’s direction, she also spent $19,000 in one hour on gift cards at a Nordstrom store. The scammer remained on the phone with her for most of the transactions and at times had remote control of her computer, coaching her on how to answer cashier questions about why she was buying the gift cards.

Gift cards sold by large retailers are increasingly used by scammers in all flavors of fraud, including robocallers impersonating government officials or online criminals pretending to be a person’s employer, law-enforcement officials say. How companies respond to scammers’ embrace of their gift cards varies widely.

(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: con; fraud; giftcard; hacking; merrychristmas; scam; scammers
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It's behind a so-called paywall.

1 posted on 12/23/2019 9:28:50 PM PST by SunkenCiv
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Free Republic 4th Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $88,010
100%
Woo hoo!! OVER THE TOP!! Congratulations everyone and thank you all very much!! God bless.

2 posted on 12/23/2019 9:29:18 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.)
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To: SunkenCiv

My CC companies are pretty good at denying payment for thing that they see as out of the ordinary base on my past.

But nothing is fool proof.

What a shame.


3 posted on 12/23/2019 9:31:02 PM PST by dp0622 (Radicals, racists Don't point fingers at me I'm a small town white boy Just tryin' to make ends meet)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...
Merry Christmas, all, in case I don't get back in here before then.

4 posted on 12/23/2019 9:35:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.)
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To: dp0622


But nothing is fool proof.

props for USAA bank.   first MCard now VISA, they notify me seemingly before the thugs leave the store or close their browser.


5 posted on 12/23/2019 9:41:45 PM PST by 867V309 (Lock Her Up)
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To: SunkenCiv; dp0622

It’s easier to just get them gift cards than to shop for them.


6 posted on 12/23/2019 9:44:37 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: 867V309

THANK YOU for the tip.


7 posted on 12/23/2019 9:44:45 PM PST by dp0622 (Radicals, racists Don't point fingers at me I'm a small town white boy Just tryin' to make ends meet)
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To: Larry Lucido

SO MUCH easier!!

That’s mostly what we exchange now, it seems like, in my family :)

80 percent of the gifts I give are cards now.

They’re gifts that actually get used lol


8 posted on 12/23/2019 9:46:12 PM PST by dp0622 (Radicals, racists Don't point fingers at me I'm a small town white boy Just tryin' to make ends meet)
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To: SunkenCiv

People who scam the elderly/mentally infirm should be shot.


9 posted on 12/23/2019 9:46:52 PM PST by TigersEye (MAGA - 16 more years! - KAG)
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To: SunkenCiv

This is how you deal with scammers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuVFcizDwqw


10 posted on 12/23/2019 9:48:16 PM PST by dfwgator (Endut! Hoch Hech!)
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To: dp0622

And the scammers love them! They used to hate the sweaters I mailed them. Always the wrong size!


11 posted on 12/23/2019 9:48:33 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: dp0622

you bet


12 posted on 12/23/2019 9:59:35 PM PST by 867V309 (Lock Her Up)
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To: TigersEye
They should be fed feet-first into a live woodchipper.

13 posted on 12/23/2019 10:00:37 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I think I’m good with that.


14 posted on 12/23/2019 10:02:46 PM PST by TigersEye (MAGA - 16 more years! - KAG)
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To: 867V309

I use USAA also. They are very very good at keeping an eye on my account. Also, they do not charge for stop payments on debit cards.


15 posted on 12/23/2019 10:03:16 PM PST by Megiddox69
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To: Larry Lucido

ROFL!!

Well they’re people too :)


16 posted on 12/23/2019 10:04:20 PM PST by dp0622 (Radicals, racists Don't point fingers at me I'm a small town white boy Just tryin' to make ends meet)
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To: TigersEye

Does that include politicians? They’ve been scamming people for centuries. Bribing people with their own money.


17 posted on 12/23/2019 10:21:39 PM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: Megiddox69

Verizon charges $7 for permission to speak with a human!


18 posted on 12/23/2019 10:31:45 PM PST by Does so (...Democrats only believe in democracy when they win the election...)
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To: SunkenCiv
Paywall easy fix...

Bookmarklets - Get around paywalls, Fancy text for FB, Legal hacking tricks made easy!

19 posted on 12/23/2019 10:40:45 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: dfwgator

Another good scam baiter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D61IKco8iGU


20 posted on 12/23/2019 10:44:07 PM PST by Impala64ssa (Virtue signalling is no virtue)
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