RANT – Retailers and Gift Cards

I’m a police dispatcher for a medium sized city in the midwest and we deal with scam calls every day just like I’m sure many do. Today we took a complaint from a man whose 75 year old mother in law purchased over $40K in gift cards and gave the scammers the numbers. FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. It’s unclear if she went somewhere and bought them in person or did it online, but either way, *shame* on the retailers who allow this to happen. Regardless of my employer’s policy, if I’m a cashier at a store and an elderly woman (edit – anyone) comes through my checkout asking to load a large sum of money onto gift cards, I’m going to question her and try to make her aware of these types of scams. Granted, the cashier in question may not know about them, but these retailers should by all means be educating their employees.

This poor lady probably just pissed away what was left of her life savings and it breaks my heart. These scammers are a plague and I hope someday law enforcement acquires the tools to track them down and prosecute. So disgusting.

The content was posted by tonedef76 on 2020-07-23 12:01:29 via reddit

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  1. Our local supermarkets all have signs at the registers about gift card scams, but some people are just determined to believe what the scammers tell them. Especially romance scams.

    In my bank, I’ve tried to talk sense into people who have had transactions blocked because we can tell it’s a scam. Some of them don’t listen, and tell us to mind our own business, and legally we have to release the funds. All we can do is make notes that we discussed the situation and the customer insisted on completing the transaction. It’s so frustrating.

  2. We need less trashy reality TV shows and more weekly scam education shows!

    CC providers should be using some AI to detect patterns – 5 x $100 at same store within a few minutes – suspicious as technical glitch or bulk GC purchase…

    We’ve seen here some cashiers will ask and they are told to “mind your business” because the scammer already intimidated the victim to be sure they don’t tell anyone what they are doing 🙁

    At the very least stores should also be imposing a limit to the # or $$$ amount of gift cards, perhaps one register transaction per card so they show as separate charges on CC statement and can be detected as suspect by AI. Longer waiting periods after activation before being able to spend a gift card, etc

  3. We should honestly start carrying out ip bans, no one from, say, india, can call you or connect to a computer in say the UK, where most of these scams is directed to, also bans from VPN ip addresses is needed.

  4. You wanna do something about it? There is something. You’re going to have to join a line of people who wants FCC to do something about it, but unfortunally, it is too late already. With Adji Pai as the douchchair, he already made some ruling that will takes a while to revert, and that if any decent president will do what Obama did.

    Net Neutrality – Repealed

    VoIP – Not labeled as telecommunication

    You also have to remember, as FCC, he also doesn’t go after companies when they have their “data breach”, which we all already known as “selling our datas” to anybody willingly to buy it.

    He only got fed up because someone in the USA robocalled him, but he doesn’t realized, the majority of the robocalls are from international, and the telecom companies that are suppose to safeguard our information have leaked data all the damn time.

    The only way FCC can stop this is punishing the telecom that leaks these datas and place punishments on companies that has deal with companies in India or China. Mostly India.

  5. Be aware of the scammer strategy, how they make you gullible. Be careful, always alert in your environment, and to the people around you.

  6. We need a treaty with India to coordinate the destruction of these creeps. I love my Indian friends and sadly a few thousand shitheads make a bad image for over a billion good folks.

  7. Hi, it’s part of my job to train and investigate victims of scams in retail/AML fraud. Youd be surprised (or maybe not) by how terribly common this is. Scammers are very good at convincing people they are legit, or use scare tactics to fool people. The absolute worst of the worst are the fuckers who scam old folks by convincing them they’re their grandkids and are in trouble.

    Unfortunately, these scammers are also adept at giving the victims instructions on making their stories seem legit to the cashier. I train stores to be suspicious any time the customer is on the phone, and for specific key phrases. The problem I run into most is that store teams are constantly taught “the customer is always right” and telling someone *no* is difficult. This is made even more difficult by the fact that nobody wants to feel stupid, and being confronted with the fact that you’ve been duped is the pinnacle of that feeling. Victims tend to entrench themselves when confronted with the obvious truth. I deal with shoplifters, internal theft, diversion, healthcare/script fraud, robberies, you name it, but I fucking **HATE** these scammer pieces of shit.

  8. Call the number on the back. They may be able to recoup some of the money if not spent yet. I hate hearing scams like this.

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