Police Authorities Warn Public about Widespread Gift Card Draining Scam

holiday giftsA California man was arrested for possessing tampered Target and Apple gift cards while in a Target store in Sacramento last week. Police say Ningning Sun was found with more than 5,000 gift cards in his possession.

In a separate press release, the Sheriff’s Office of the New Britain Township Police Department issued a public warning about a card draining scam taking place in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The public notice was released on December 01 in light of the popularity of gift cards bought as Christmas presents for the forthcoming holidays.

The gift card draining scam warning is linked to the arrest of the California man who was in possession of 5,000 tampered gift cards while at a Target Store in Sacramento. Apparently, the gift card tampering scheme is happening in other regions in connection with the gift card draining scam. Ningning Sun, the man arrested by the Sacramento police was part of the card draining scam.

About the Gift Card Draining Scam

The card draining scam involves the tampering of the barcode at the back of the gift card. Sun drew attention for acting suspiciously while in the area, to which investigations revealed he had more than 5K tampered gift cards to use for the card draining scheme.

barcode exampleUnsuspecting holiday consumers who will opt to buy the gift cards will have their purchase money siphoned off to an offshore banking account instead of activating a gift card account either at Target or Apple. The recipient of the gift card will be disappointed because the money that was supposed to fund the gift card purchase had been drained by the scammers.

Authorities are warning holiday shoppers who plan to buy gift cards, to examine the cards closely for scuff marks or scratches in the barcode as they denote tampering.