Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Holiday Shopping Scam

Holiday Shopping Scam at a Supermarket Near You!
by John Occhi, Hemet REALTOR

It seems every holiday there are new products for sale - things that we would have never thought possible just ten years ago. I remember I was on the cutting edge of e-commerce in 1999 - 2001 when I was promoting custom gift cards for small businesses as well as e-commerce enabled websites. It's amazing how skeptical people were.

Is there a reason to be skeptical of new technologies. I suppose. My theory has always been to embrace the new and replace the old. Unfortunately, with the new, it feeds the element of human nature that preys on others, to create new innovative ways of doing this.

Fast Forward - Christmas 2006. Every supermarket I have been to in the last several months have a kiosk with gift cards for 20, 30, 40 or even 50 or more different retail stores. No longer do you have to go to Best-Buy, to buy a Best-Buy gift card. Today, you can do all of your holiday shopping, while getting ready to cook the holiday meal.

Now how easy is that?

So here is the scam. The low-life's copy down the card information while they are being displayed on the rack. This includes a card number and the toll free customer service phone number. In some cases, there is even a website.

So now the con artist waits a few days (checking back as often as needed) until the card has been "activated" and their is a balance on the card.

BINGO! It's time to go shopping on line.

An Ounce of Prevention...Worth a Pound of Cure

So, the best way to avoid this scam altogether is to ONLY purchase your gift cards from a customer service rep, where the cards have been safely stored behind the counter and not accessible to the public.

Please be careful. Pass this on to your friends and loved ones.

1 Comments:

Blogger Altair said...

I will definatly pass this to all my frens and thanx for leting us know this...

Merry Christmas..

1:07 AM  

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