New trend: Gift cards are being hacked into, drained before shoppers purchase them

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – There’s a troubling trend hitting consumers; gift cards are being hacked into and drained before you even get to use them.

Crooks grab cards off the rack, write down the numbers and pins, and put the card back. Once that card is activated they have all the info they need to spend the money on it themselves.

Another tactic is using stickers to replace the barcodes and pin labels on cards with their own. But it is possible to spot those stickers.

“Take that extra twenty seconds and kinda feel it,” says shopper Nichelle Laus. “Visually inspect it. That twenty seconds will save so much hassle for so many people.”

Some more advice; see if the card lets you set up a private pin or register it online. Also, don’t let cards sit there! The longer they do, the more time a hacker has to use it before you.