How to avoid buying a stolen or fraudulent gift card

This video was released by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, showing what they say are the thefts.

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. -- Pasco County sheriff’s detectives are looking for three suspects who stole thousands of dollars in gift cars from two Home Depot locations.

They released video of the suspects at a location in Zephyrhills. In the clip, a man dressed as a woman pushes a Home Depot clerk out of the way, accesses the store computer and successfully activates $1900 in gift cards.  

A couple hours later, Pasco deputies say, the three suspects went to another Home Depot in Lake County. They pulled off the same crime, this walking away with $5000 in gift cards.

They’re still on the loose. So, what if they put the cards for sale online then tried to sell them to you? How would you avoid buying a stolen or fraudulent gift card?

If you purchase a card through a third-party site like Ebay or Craigslist, go online right away and check the card’s balance on the retailer’s website.

But even then, the seller could quickly report the card stolen to wipe the money off or still purchase something online using the card number. So, it’s best to not purchase a card if the PIN number is showing.

Also, try to meet the seller at a store where the card can be used.

Lastly, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.  

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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