Target customers fall victim to gift card scam
Be careful if you're purchasing Apple iTunes gift cards at a Target store as consumers have recently gotten duped by fake cards.
There is currently a class action lawsuit with people from 21 states, including two people from Maryland, who all say Target knowingly and intentionally sells fake Apple gift cards.
"It was terrible. You know like, first of all walking back in to Target and being like, ‘Hi, these are fake.’ And you feel like a scammer yourself, you know. It's not good. Because you're like, 'Hi I'm not trying to scam anybody but this gift card is not working,'" says Target customer Matias Giraud.
Giraud bought eight $100 gift cards to get an iPhone and two of those gift cards were fake. He was able to catch the fraud immediately so Apple could send him a new code before the fraudster stole the value.
However, many customers are not so lucky.
Theives steal the cards sealed in the envelope, remove the real card, replace it with a fake and then reseal the outer layer. They wait for the activation and then quickly use the value before the consumer figures it out.
Cybersecurity expert Will Caput says it's a big problem for retail stores who insist on displaying cards out in the open rathe than behind a cash register or in a vending machine.
"You still also have to trust your supply chain from when those cards are created to when they're delivered to the store. That no one is intercepting them, taking a stack home and replacing them," says Caput. "I've seen that happen too where these cards are behind the shelf, but someone got the numbers, how did they get the numbers? Well, do you have a chain of custody from when they were made to when you receive them? No."
The class action lawsuit is pending in Minnesota where Target is incorporated. They are in discovery right now, meaning the parties are giving each other relevant evidence to the claims about knowing the fraud is happening.