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Scam Alert: Involving Prepaid Gift Cards

Wednesday May 17, 2023

We have received reports regarding a new type of scam involving prepaid gift cards.

Please take this warning seriously and remain vigilant against such fraudulent activities.

Here is an outline of how this particular scam operates:

A scam caller will call the store and ask to talk to a cashier. The scam caller will tell the cashier that he is from the corporate office and they need the cashier to test some things at a register for them. They will tell the cashier to go to a specific register and log in. They'll tell the cashier to scan a common item like a Snickers candy bar or Pepsi. Once the scam caller has gained the trust of the cashier and the cashier is following their instructions, the scam caller will then tell the cashier that they need to test a prepaid gift card. The scam caller will instruct the cashier to activate a prepaid gift card for a random dollar amount of a few hundred dollars, then finalize the transaction, paying for the gift card in cash. The scam caller will then ask the cashier to read off the card numbers from the back of the prepaid gift card so they can verify that the card worked. The scam caller now has a fully activated prepaid gift card from your store, and you have been scammed out of this money. The scam caller will redeem the gift card immediately and there will be no way to reverse the transaction.

Here is what you can do to protect yourself:

Train Your Cashiers: Ensure that all cashiers are well-informed about the scam and explicitly instruct them to never activate a prepaid gift card over the phone. Emphasize that legitimate IT personnel would never make such requests. Familiarize them with your organization's tech support protocols and guide them on how to handle any suspicious calls.

Please note the following key points:
  • This issue does not stem from any flaws in your point of sale system.
  • You have not been hacked.
  • Great Lakes Data Systems will never ask you to activate a prepaid gift card.
  • Great Lakes Data Systems will never ask a cashier for usernames or passwords, or any other sensitive information.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and stay proactive in safeguarding your business against scams.

scam alert