I heard about the new scam today...

@coffeebreak (17815)
United States
February 28, 2008 7:43pm CST
I was in a store today in this local HUGE outdoor mall with about 250 stores in it... and a Deputy Sheriff was (apparently) going store to store telling the cashiers something. I saw her in the Payless shoe store, and in the Ulta store, and then I went into my allergy doctor office (yes very smart of him to put his office in the shopping mall!) and the DS got there just before me so I was behind her and heard her telling the front desk girls about a new scam that the mall had been seeing and police reports have been generated. YOu know those VISA/MC gift cards that you buy in stores- green dot is one of them... but you buy the card and put how ever much dollars on it, the store activates the card with the company and then often given as gift cards, you get one and activate it by phone and can use it anywhere VISA/MC are accetped. Well, seems the scam going around is people will just steal the cards from where they hang in the stores and then take them to use them. When the card doesn't swipe through (casue it wasn't paid for ergo not activiated as being sold with the providing company) when swipped - gives the cashier some problems or whatever, but it doesn't take the card and the person will act "dumb" about it and suggest "can't you just punch in the card number manually?" Wel, there is no name on the card for the cashier to ask for ID and so manually they do it and it "takes", but the next day it is kicked back to the store as invalid and the store eats it. Deputy was saying that if it doesn't swipe through, on a second chance, then don't take it and most certainly don't do it manually. INteresting what people will come up with to scam others. WHy dont they put that intelligence toward something good? They'd probably be amazed at what they could accomplish legally!
3 people like this
6 responses
@sergeantrom (5711)
• United States
29 Feb 08
Every time I hear about a scam, I think the very same thing. Why waste all that brain power for evil and not good? Thanks for sharing the scam. Never know if any mylotters work in the mall.
2 people like this
@coffeebreak (17815)
• United States
8 Mar 08
It is a shame to waste all that brain power!
• United States
8 Mar 08
I agree, such a shame.
@bfarrier1 (2082)
• United States
29 Feb 08
I guess it takes all kinds to make the world go around.I agree with you on put intelligence toward something good,you here so much these days you hate to leave the house. Also people like that don't realize that the store will get their money back even if they have to raise prices on their merchandise that us honest people have to pay. Have a great day
@coffeebreak (17815)
• United States
29 Feb 08
My son is a deputy sheriff and he tells me stories of things they make in jail - i am floored everytime he tells me the currnt thing to make out of things like ketchup and the little bag thingy comes in - right down to mini-bombs! GOod grief, if they'd put that much effort into legal things, they could suceed in life and wouldn't have been in jail in the first place!
1 person likes this
@palonghorn (5483)
• United States
29 Feb 08
First off, I have a visa card like you are talking about. And once it is activated, they send you the actual card, it is not in the package that you purchase at the store, you put the money on the card, call to activate it and they send you a card with your name on it. So any store that sells these cards, and there are mastercards, visa, american express........should read up, and know how they work, they shouldn't accept any card, debit or credit that does not have a signature on the back, matching a name on the front. Now, gift cards do not issue cards with your name on them, however, gift cards only act as a debit, and have to have money on them to be accepted.
2 people like this
@drannhh (15235)
• United States
29 Feb 08
Yowsers, what will the criminals think up next? If people keep doing this it will only result in higher prices for everyone else, but of course, scammers are only thinking of themselves. Thanks for the heads up.
2 people like this
@coffeebreak (17815)
• United States
8 Mar 08
Yeah, it does and things are already high enough! And to think they'd do all that for so little and risk getting caught!
@Hatley (164232)
• Garden Grove, California
1 Mar 08
thats a new one on me but there are a zillion scams out there now and people fall for them. I got a phony threethousand dollar check from Shadow shopper wanting me to cash it. take two thousand out to check Walmarts money wiring service and mail the two thousand to a relative and take two hundred for your services oh and this had to be done in just x number of hours. well I gave the whole phony deal to my son who sent it and a letter explaining to the postmaster of our town I googgled Shadow Shopper and found out that the whole rigamorale was one very nasty scam.whoever was naiveenough to cash the check and go through all that rigamorale was left owing three thousand and something dollars for cashing a bad check.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17815)
• United States
1 Mar 08
Bottom line, If someone you don't know gives you "free money" - ya gotta know it is a scam! I've seen these before too.."here, cash this huge check, keep the most for yourself and send me the little bit left!" I just don't know how or why some people fall for it. I mean free money...come on if it was that easy and legal, why is anyone working these days? I get them all the time. My first "clue" that it is a scam is that the return address is out of USA. If I dont' know them, how do they know me and would they want to give me free money?
@chrislotz (8200)
• Canada
14 Mar 08
I am surprised that once punched in manually it would take. How would it take if it wasn't validated? When punching it in it should be no different than when it is swiped. I know sometimes my Visa card won't work with a swipe, I need a new one, so they punch it in manually but they are using the same numbers as is on my card, and it works because it is my card and the numbers are good and validated. So I am really surprised by this.
@coffeebreak (17815)
• United States
14 Mar 08
I don't use this kind of card, so I can't speak from experience but the Deputy Sheriff was walking to each store and explaining the scam to the store employees or management (he was at one store while I was there nad left before me and I went to the next store and there he was - that is where I "eavesdropped" on the conversation and heard it) and he said there had been 5 stores in the mall that this had happened to and had reported it and that is why he was there to inform everyone, so there had to be something to it.
1 person likes this
@chrislotz (8200)
• Canada
16 Mar 08
Oh I am sure there was, it's just a very unsecure way of doing business.