The gift card that is tucked in a birthday card or thank you card could become worthless if the hackers siphon off the value first.

Law enforcement agencies warn that the hackers affix a fake barcode sticker over the real one in the stores.  When you buy the gift card, the cashier scans the fake barcode at check out and your money then goes to the hacker’s gift card account.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Validate the number of the barcode and make sure it matches the number of the packaging;
  2. Don’t buy the gift card if:
    a. the barcode is on a sticker; or
    b. if the package is ripped, wrinkled, bent or looks to have been tampered with

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Frank Johnson