Scammers steal PINs from gift cards, drain money

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(Fox 32 News) - Thinking of buying gift cards this Christmas? Maybe your recipient would be better off with cold hard cash.

The Better Business Bureau is warning about an ongoing gift card scam that picks up steam around the holidays. Scammers go to the store, take pictures of the serial numbers on cards, and scratch off the covering on the PIN/security code. Then they cover up the code again with a special seal.

You’re none the wiser when you buy your card, but the scammers are busy checking the serial number online until it’s purchased and activated. Then they swoop in with the PIN number/security code, and use up all the money before you’ve even had time to wrap your gifts.

To avoid losing money, you should buy gift cards that are protected by packaging. You can also try buying a card from the back of the display, instead of the front.Or, think about giving cold hard cash.