Light police officer warns of scams intriguing tampered reward cards at retailers
A mature police officer is urging Canadians to be vigilant this vacation season when hunting for reward cards on observe at retail stores, after nearly falling sufferer to a scam intriguing tampered reward cards — twice.
In gradual October, Toronto-primarily based mostly mostly wisely being and public security influencer Nichelle Laus tried to bewitch a $50 Winners reward card at her native Customers Drug Mart. However when the cashier scanned the barcode on the reward card, it showed up on the machine as an Esso gasoline reward card.
“The cashier — she did an awfully accurate job,” Laus instructed CTVNews.ca over the cell phone on Wednesday. “She instructed me about the scam and she used to be feeling the motivate of it and she goes, ‘Gape, this one is false.’ I said, ‘No device!'”
Upon closer inspection of the card, Laus noticed that the feel of the barcode regarded raised. It changed into out that there used to be a false barcode in the invent of a sticker holding the reward card’s accurate barcode. The false barcode corresponded to an Esso reward card, and if the transaction had long past by, Laus would’ve paid money to load a scammer’s Esso card and been left with an empty Winners card.
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“You may perhaps per chance well well also watch it be a white sticker. It appears to be like fancy it used to be nearly fancy laser printed. Like, it be in level of truth accurate quality. Or no longer it is decrease so exactly that it is doubtless you’ll perhaps well well presumably also actually lay it over the usual barcode on high and you wouldn’t even imagine the adaptation, unless you in level of truth witness at it and unless you in level of truth feel it,” she explained.
After this skills, Laus said, she started the prepare of operating her fingers over the barcode whenever she’s hunting for a reward card at a retailer in explain to construct decided there are no longer any stickers on the card. And this weekend, she encountered yet one other tampered-with reward card at a assorted Customers Drug Mart pickle.
“I used to be hunting for a PlayStation card for my boys’ buddy’s birthday celebration. And the first one I picked up, I did the same element. I felt the motivate and obvious ample, it used to be false,” she said.
This time, the false barcode on the $100 PlayStation card showed up as an LCBO card.
“If I did no longer imagine and if the cashier did no longer imagine, I’m actually loading (a scammer’s) LCBO card … and then I stroll away and my card is actually a dud,” she said.
Laus’ movies explaining how she nearly fell sufferer to these scams possess been broadly circulated on TikTok and Instagram. Undoubtedly one of her TikTok movies about the scam had over two million views while her most up-to-date video on Instagram garnered nearly a million views as of Wednesday night.
Customers Drug Mart parent Loblaw instructed CTVNews.ca in a statement the firm recognizes reward card fraud “as an impart of affairs impacting the retail sector in celebrated” and said it be doing what it may perhaps perhaps most likely to fight tampering of reward cards in its stores.
“Our retailer’s groups are trained to hunt for tampering, as well to other fraudulent eventualities intriguing the rob of reward cards and set aside their most effective to intercept cards that will perhaps well also very wisely be fraudulent earlier than they’re bought,” Loblaw said.
To lead definite of purchasing a reward card that has been tampered with, Laus suggests hunting for digital reward cards or hunting for a reward card straight from the retailer that the reward card is for, pretty than hunting for from a retailer. However in the event it is best to bewitch a reward card at a retailer, Laus said, it be imperative to feel the barcode to construct decided there may perhaps be no tampering and to take a look at what reveals up on the money register after the card is scanned.
“Consume that extra minute to no longer most effective feel the barcode on the motivate, strive to gain it up,” she said. “If it be an accurate sticker, it is doubtless you’ll perhaps well gain that sticker up and imagine that that sticker doesn’t match the quantity beneath.”