During the month of October, several pool and spa stores in Phoenix, Arizona were victimized by a gift card scam. There is no reason that this couldn’t happen to other businesses, if business owners are not wary of the problem.
The way it worked is a customer used a gift card to make a purchase of up to $500. This happened at several stores. The gift card was not accepted at the register so the sales representative had to key in the card number. Of course, then, the transaction took. About 15 days later or so, a store would receive notice that the gift card used in the transaction was counterfeit. Apparently, “stolen credit card numbers” were adhered to the gift cards. While the owners of the credit cards were reimbursed for their losses, the stores were not.
What some of these businesses have done to counteract this problem is to implement new store policies. One policy, for example, is to set a limit on the amount accepted by a gift card payment. Certain stores have added a gift card payment cap of no more than $100. Another example of a change in policy is to not accept a gift card, if a card reader won’t accept it.
If you are a business owner and choose to change some of your policies regarding the acceptance of gift cards, that is entirely up to you. This is simply a demonstration of what can happen to other stores should this type of scam spread.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/manchesterlibrary/4664223966/”>Manchester Library</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>