Will You Implement Gift Card Fraud-Fighting Practices that Place HUMAN SAFETY Above Profit?


"Part of the reason gift card fraud is on the rise is the increase in overall gift card sales. Wherever the money goes, fraud is sure to follow. Another factor is the increasing security of credit card payments, making gift cards a comparatively appealing target.

Chargeback Gurus: Gift Card Fraud Prevention in 2023 


“23% of U.S. consumers have given or received gift cards with NO FUNDS...54% of these people were told NO REFUND or credit was possible."

Gift Card Scams: AARP Survey of US Consumers


“Americans reported more than $233 million in losses related to GIFT CARD FRAUD in 2021. This number will only continue to grow if policymakers, retailers, and gift card issuers fail to take action to protect consumers"

Center for Data Innovation: How Policymakers Can Prevent Gift Card Scams


“Gift cards are far more frequently reported than any other payment method for fraud, and the numbers have reached staggering new highs compared to past years. In the first nine months of 2021 alone, nearly 40,000 people reported $148 million stolen using gift cards...this reflects only a fraction of the harm these scams cause.

FTC: Scammers prefer gift cards


“Human traffickers may also force their victims to...PURCHASE GIFT CARDS. These gift cards can then be used to fuel trafficking operations thanks to their ANONYMITY and lack of a paper trail. ... 1.04 million sex ads currently accept gift cards as forms of payment."

LPM: Human Trafficking and ORC: The Dark Truth behind Retail Crime Networks


“Nearly nine in ten consumers agree that lawmakers need to do more to PROTECT CONSUMERS from fraud and scams."

2022 AARP Survey

Don't wait to make a positive change.


In general, consumers love gift cards. Unfortunately, scammers and fraudsters do, too. 

Though there are many ways scammers exploit the limited security features of gift cards (compared to debit and credit cards), two that directly impact consumers are activation scams and payment scams.


Activation scams, often called "zero balance gift cards" or "compromised gift cards," are schemes where scammers manipulate gift cards to get the card numbers. When purchased, they will have no actual value.

These scams can involve various tactics, including stealing gift card numbers, hacking gift card systems, swapping labels, making fake gift cards, or even involving cashiers in the fraud.

While the scammers make off with the funds, Customers who unwittingly purchased these compromised gift cards end up with worthless gift cards, little recourse, and the burden of proving their money got stolen.

Since many people buy gift cards to give as gifts, they will only discover the cards have no value if recipients tell them.


Victim-assisted gift card scams are a type of fraud in which scammers trick people into purchasing gift cards and sharing the numbers as a form of "payment." Once the scammers have the card numbers, they drain the funds by quickly reselling or using the cards.

Several common tactics characterize these scams:

  1. Emotional Manipulation
  2. Deception
  3. Fake Checks
  4. Impersonation
  5. Fear and Threats
  6. Urgency

Though gift card issuers may investigate and try to stop payment, there is often little recourse because the victims (though under false pretenses and duress) purposely shared the card numbers.

Why do scammers like gift cards?
(And where does the money go?)

Whether scammers get gift card numbers through activation scams or victim-assisted fraud schemes, the first thing they do is drain the gift card funds. The stolen funds are difficult to trace because gift cards can be purchased and redeemed ANONYMOUSLY. They also come with few (if any) consumer protections. Printed on most gift cards are words such as, "Treat this card like cash. Lost or stolen cards will not be replaced." 

Laundered gift card funds support illicit services like hacking, identity theft, drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism and other crimes.

Be part of the solution.

Consumers deserve a scam-free and fraud-free gift card experience

Ideal Features Include:
  • Gift card purchases prohibited if customers are on their phones
  • Verification that card, screen, and receipt numbers match
  • Secure gift card packaging plus CVV, PIN or other security device 
  • Limits on large or repeated gift card purchases
  • Customer identification required for gift card purchases
  • Mandatory registration to access card balance or redeem gift card
Let's work together.

Join a Growing List of Certified Gift Cards TODAY!