Dont Get Scammed with Gift Cards or Emails Image

Our latest blog looks at a new scam that has appeared targeting major online retail customers, so we are taking a brief look at how you can avoid being a victim of this horrible activity and don’t get scammed with gift cards or emails.

With the New Year looming it is usually a time of new beginnings and resolutions. However, it is also a time when the retailers finish the Christmas rush and start their New Year sales. Now this used to mean that people swarmed to shopping centres and high streets all over the country to scour the shops for the best bargains of the year, but times are changing. People are visiting shopping centres less and less which in turn is having a negative effect on the high streets and shops of the UK.

So where are we spending our money? Online, that’s where! According to a range of sources the number of shoppers now using online retailer rather than the high street is as high as 9 out of 10!

Mintel is a global and award winning provider of market research, delivering data, trends and insights to thousands of huge retail companies around the world. Earlier in the year they reported that 86% of UK shoppers now use major online retailers rather than go to the high street, most of which shop online at least once a month.

So it was no real surprise that the scammers worked out a way to start targeting those customers, and it’s quite simple but extremely devastating when they do it.

So it was no real surprise that the scammers worked out a way to start targeting those customers, and it’s quite simple but extremely devastating when they do it.

Before the cards are purchased, unscrupulous individuals remove the cards from the racks in the shops they are being sold in. They then take a record of the numbers associated with the cards, including the activation pins and await someone to purchase those cards. They then use the balance of that card before the recipient gets it, leaving the recipient with very little comeback.

The BBB or Better Business Bureau organisation released information about this type of scam and how to protect yourself against it.

The first way to protect yourself against it is to full inspect the card before you pay for it. Check the packaging for any wrinkles, ripples, or tears where someone may have lifted the covering to view the activation pin and record the main number.

The second way is to register the card. If the retailer offers that service then use it as you may be able to save the money that is stored on that particular card.

The final way is to report the card as lost or stolen as soon as possible if that happens. Most issuers have a number you call on the card or on their website.

The second type of scam being attempted at the moment is by way of an email. Scammers are now sending emails to everyone they can in the understanding that the majority will have an online retail account. The email is extremely authentic looking and requests that you reset your password by clicking on a link. Then as soon as you submit your password reset the scammer’s automated program then logs in to that particular online portal using those details and starts buying items. It’s impossible to trace and is reported to max out accounts in a very short amount of time.

The advice given to protect yourself form this form of scam is as always to never click on a link in an email unless you are expecting the email and completely trust the sender. Instead go directly to the website in question, login, and reset your password from there. This would stop the scammer from being able to record your details and abusing your account.

Where unexpected emails are concerned, always be suspicious and never click on a link!

We hope this advice helps you stay a little safer online and saves you any unwanted online retail related heartache.