Every Christmas, tens of millions of Americans receive gift cards. As the year goes on, many of those people are finally getting around to spending them, only to find those cards already used, drained of all their value.
Now, Walmart has been hit with a Class Action lawsuit, claiming it is not doing enough to prevent this growing scam.
Two years ago, Melissa Davis told me she bought a Visa gift card for her daughter, that had no value when she tried to use it.
“I went to a local store, local grocery store, and purchased a Visa gift card, a $100 Visa card,” Davis said. ” She waited about a month, had her hair fixed, used the Visa for payment, and it came up zero balance.”
The $100 card was empty, leaving her daughter embarrassed, and her mom livid. “I was a little upset. Very upset, when she told me,” Davis said.
So she went back to the customer service desk, but she said, “they were not very receptive to my dilemma.”
We contacted Visa, which promised to investigate, and “make things right” for her, by refunding the value of the card.
The Better Business Bureau says the most common way this happens is:
– Thieves cut open gift card packages discretely.
– They copy the numbers, then put them back on the rack.
– They check the card number daily online.- When the store activates it, they start shopping. Sometimes they drain it before you get it home.
Davis checked Visa’s website and says the card appeared to have been used to buy a cell phone. “They were able to use the card, without the card, which was really interesting, because I didn’t think they could do that.”
But they can use the card without having it in their possession, which is why the BBB says always check gift cards for signs indicating the cardboard cover was tampered with.
And it goes without saying you should always save the cash register receipt showing that it was activated.
As for the new lawsuit, Walmart does not comment on litigation. So it is up to you to look for any sign of tampering, so you don’t waste your money.
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