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CardCash.com drained my Delta gift cards

Discussion in 'Other' started by Genize, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Genize

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    It was my first time ever buying Delta gift cards and now I'm in the unfortunate situation to be left with drained gift cards that I bought online from CardCash.com.
    Every e-card in the denomination of $50 arrived fairly quickly in the form of an PDF file and I was able to use the first batch almost instantly for some Delta flights (3 GCs per flight is the maximum allowed by Delta).
    I decided to save the rest of the GCs - 10 in total - for later use. Big mistake !
    CardCash advertises a 45-day-balance guarantee as "buyer fraud protection" on their website. Whatever that means was lost on me unfortunately.

    When I wanted to redeem the left-over 10 GC's - after the 45-day-buyer-fraud-protection time period had expired - the cards were drained. Delta was able to check every one of them and concluded that all of them had been used by other passengers for already completed flights or for some in the nearby future.
    There was nothing they could do for me, since they were purchased from CardCash and not from their own website.
    After contacting CardCash, I was told I was out of luck - quoting the 45-day-guarantee period.
    Shouldn't there be a warning that your gift cards are drained by CardCash on day 46 ?

    My question: What other ways - if any - would I have to claim back the $500 in Delta gift cards that I lost ?
     
    #1
  2. Realitoes

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    This a popular scam on these gift card resale sites. Somebody sells a gift card for less than the value, then waits for it to be sold, then uses the card themselves. Most of the resale sites have a fraud protection policy for a specific number of days, which allows them to go back and charge a credit card given by the original seller as a guarantee (which tends to be stolen in these type of scams).

    When you purchased the cards, you should have read the terms and agreements, which would have spelled this out. You can try to appeal to the company for an exception to that policy.

    In the future, instead of trying to save a few bucks with resells, go directly to the merchant to buy your gift cards.
     
    #2
    ORresident likes this.
  3. ORresident

    Staff Member Advocate

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    How did you purchase the gift cards? If you paid by credit card, is there any coverage for this sort of loss? About the only other thing I can think of is it might meet the IRS criteria for deducting a theft, but I am not a tax expert.

    Did you file a police report?
     
    #3
  4. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    You should write to the Attorney General in your state and file a complaint.

    How can they have only a 45 day guarantee? Do they resell the ones you haven't used? I have never heard of something like this.

    It is beyond me that anyone would trust buying a gift certificate off these websites. If you are buying someone else's card, they have access to the card number and password. This is such an easy scam to pull!
     
    #4
  5. jsn55

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    Wow, this is awful. Why didn't you buy the gift cards directly from Delta? Was this one of those 'deals' we read about that lures people in with big discounts? Sad to report: there's no free lunch.
     
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  6. ORresident

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    JSN, this is actually a fairly big player... according to a story in Forbes on "America's Most Promising Companies", they had $95 million in revenue as of January 2015. http://www.forbes.com/companies/cardcash/

    Sounds to me like they're only promising for 45 days, though...
     
    #6
  7. Realitoes

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    Since the protection is guaranteed by a credit card provided by the seller, I suspect there would have to be some cut off when they would no longer be authorized to charge the card. Could be something in the merchant agreement or just an arbitrary set time. The longer the period the easier it would probably be to dispute the charge.
     
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  8. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    I still don't understand stand the concept. Whoever had the gift card before has all the info they need to redeem them after selling them to someone else.
     
    #8
    Tricia K. likes this.
  9. Realitoes

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    It is quite simple, if you have a gift card, even one that is partially used, you can sell it to these sites at a discount. Depending on the type of gift card, you may have to provide the pin number or other information so the buyer can utilize it. To prevent fraud, the website will normally require a credit card number on file that they can charge to recoup funds if the card does not have the balance indicated or was used after selling it.

    There is a big market to sell these gift cards for cash. They like you to think people just want to get rid of extra gift cards, but in a lot of cases these may have been obtained by fraud/theft. One racket is to shoplift an item from one store, return it to another in exchange for a gift card (because this is what many stores give for exchange when there is no receipt). They then sell them to these sites to get the cash.
     
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  10. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    That's why I don't understand why anyone would take a chance. The original seller still has the info and can give it to anyone to use. And many are obtained fraudulently so why would one take a chance?
     
    #10
  11. Realitoes

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    The same reason people use OTAs, buy basic economy fares, pre-pay hotels/car rentals - to save a few dollars. They see a $200.00 gift card go for $160 and think they are getting a deal. Unfortunately, just like with the other ways people go about saving a buck, it is great when it works, and hurts when it doesn't! :)
     
    #11
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  12. Genize

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    May I explain: It was my bad - as a first time online gift card buyer I was not aware of all the ins and outs of gift card reselling and buying.
    As some replies suggest ... I had it coming, being so ignorant as to buy gift cards that were offered by an online re-seller like CardCash.
    You may call it perhaps kind of naive - however, who expects to have to conduct a complete scrutinizing and research before simply buying gift cards online ?
    How many unsuspecting people will be scammed this way ?
     
    #12
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  13. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    That's why I suggest filing a complaint with the Attorney General in the state you live in. Why a company would have a guarantee for only 45 days is beyond me. If they are selling these cards they should guarantee that they are valid IMO.

    This is a slippery slope these type of businesses create that can actually help someone who wants to take advantage of people.
     
    #13
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  14. Genize

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    Thank you so much for your helpful response !

    I just finished my consumer complaint in the State of Oregon where I live, and as an added note, I could check my age box as being over 65.
    I still cannot believe how I did not notice the "red flag" with their "45-day-buyer-fraud-protection" guarantee.
    And yes, I guess this time of year everyone can use a discount, especially for travel, and fall for a scam like this !
     
    #14
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  15. jsn55

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    How could you know, Genize? My husband and I were just discussing getting my neice a gift card for a night out at a local restaurant here in Florida ... only because of my experience here on the forum did I know to be sure and buy it directly from the restaurant. I'll bet I'd come up with all kinds of 'deals' if I searched for 'gift card at XYZ restaurant'.

    I've said it for years ... the bad guys run rings around the good guys, always have, always will. If it seems like a 'really good deal', it probably isn't.
     
    #15
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  16. ORresident

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    Let's see if the AG's office is willing to take it on... they can be pretty tenacious. If I were closer to Salem, I'd consider volunteering there on the consumer hotline.

    I did a little digging with the wayback machine. Comparing the page on the buyer guarantee for 2- March 2015 (https://web.archive.org/web/20150329112819/https://www.cardcash.com/guarantee/) you see this section:
    Buyer Guarantee
    When you purchase any gift card from CardCash, we guarantee you will receive the gift card. We also guarantee the gift card(s) will be valid at the retailer for the dollar amount specified on your order until 45 days after you received your order. We recommend you use the gift cards right away so we can fully back the cards. (I added the underlines to the last sentence).

    Looking at the same page today, it also says much the same thing, but in bigger type and more emphasis on 45 days only: (https://www.cardcash.com/guarantee/)
    BUYER GUARANTEE:
    When you purchase any gift card from CardCash, we guarantee you will receive the gift card. We guarantee protection against gift card fraud and unscrupulous gift card sellers when used within our 45 day policy. We recommend you use the gift cards right away so we can fully back the cards. We guarantee that all card balance discrepancies reported to us within 45 days of the purchase date will be fully refunded.

    BBB was prominently mentioned on the website in 2015; doesn't appear there today, for whatever that's worth.
     
    #16
  17. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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  18. ORresident

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    Yup. But when a business claims BBB one year, and the next does not, it suggests to me there are rocks that need to have an underside inspection. ;)
     
    #18
  19. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Businesses don't have to belong to the BBB at all the be rated.
     
    #19
  20. AAGK

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    @Neil You understand it perfectly. That's why it happens so often bc it is so ridiculously easy.
    It's simply crazy to use these sites for a gift card to sit in your drawer. I would not use them but since people keep doing this then the best practice is to use the card as quickly as possible.

    I would call the 3rd party merchant/card issuer (Delta) as soon as the card arrives, cancel immediately and have Delta mail a new one with a fresh number. Unfortunately it is too late to do that here.
     
    #20
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