Need help! Tampered Home Depot gift card from Fred Meyer

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May 26, 2018
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#1
I bought a hd gift card from fred meyer late April, but when I tried to use it today, it couldn't scan. The associate helped to scratch off the password cover and manually entered the number and PIN. Still not working. Another associate came and checked the gift card history and it turned out to be redeemed in another store in WA one week later after I bought. The associate told me that this card has been tampered and spotted a line on the card. He told me to bring the receipt and the card back to get a replacement.

When I got the receipt finally and returned to the store. Another associate told me I had to file a police report and deal it with Fredmeyer. I went to Fredmeyer and they told me I have to call Kroger, who sells all transactions and gift cards. I called Kroger and they told me to send a photo of the receipt and the gift card. They will notify me after asking homedepot.

What are my chances to get my money back? I know it is not much, but I think many more people may encounter this in the future. Fredmeyer as the retailer should prevent the card from being tampered, asked the associate to do basic check, and stand behind their sales of gift cards.

Any advice is appreciated. I'll update the progress when I hear back from Kroger.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#2
First- go to your local police department and file a report. They should take the report and give you a file number. Then go back to where you bought it and tell them what happened and give them the police report number. That report will show then you are telling the truth that you did not redeem the card.

Ask the story to review the security video from the store it was redeemed to see if they can verify who redeemed the gift card.

You had the receipt- I would think that you shouldn’t have a problem settling this.
 
May 26, 2018
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#3
Yes I will try to file a police report.

I don't have problem to prove I didn't redeem it, since the card was not even scratched when I went to hd. The problem is i bought it from Fredmeyer and HD store said they only deal with GC sold by then so i have to deal this with Fredmeyer. Fredmeyer doesn't seem to know to deal with this and told me to deal with HD initially.

Is any party responsible to replace a GC that has been frauded? I would think HD should since it is their card if I apply the credit card analogy.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
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Apr 13, 2016
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#4
Yes I will try to file a police report.

I don't have problem to prove I didn't redeem it, since the card was not even scratched when I went to hd. The problem is i bought it from Fredmeyer and HD store said they only deal with GC sold by then so i have to deal this with Fredmeyer. Fredmeyer doesn't seem to know to deal with this and told me to deal with HD initially.

Is any party responsible to replace a GC that has been frauded? I would think HD should since it is their card if I apply the credit card analogy.
Unfortunatly gift cards do not have any protections against theft or fraud like a credit card. It is usually an uphill battle to prove to the company that the funds from the card were actually stolen. A police report may help though, as it does open you to criminal liability if the information provided is false.

As you purchased the card from Fred Meyer, they have the funds, so you will need to work with them for any replacement or refund. We have contacts for Krogers, so if you can't get any help at the store of purchase, you can appeal your case to the company executives. Be sure to read and follow our proven strategies when you do write them.

http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#5
This whole scenario confuses me.
What is the purpose of going to store#1 ( Fred Meyer?) to purchase a gift card for store#2 (Home Depot]?
You then hold that gift card, for some amount of time and then attempt to use it, and find out it’s worthless.
Seems like a lot of extraneous steps that lead to defeat.
Why do people do this, am I , missing something?
 
Apr 18, 2018
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#6
This whole scenario confuses me.
What is the purpose of going to store#1 ( Fred Meyer?) to purchase a gift card for store#2 (Home Depot]?
You then hold that gift card, for some amount of time and then attempt to use it, and find out it’s worthless.
Seems like a lot of extraneous steps that lead to defeat.
Why do people do this, am I , missing something?
A percentage off the value would be the main reason. Costco has many gift cards available at a discount from the stated value of the card. Many people buy cards from stores other than where it can be redeemed.
To the original poster... Sorry to hear all the trouble. I recently had my credit card number hacked and that is a much easier fix than what you have to do.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
Does FredMeyer have the gift cards out in the open?

It sounds like the number was stolen in the manner prescribed below:

The process of stealing the money off gift cards can vary. With the simplest method, a hacker takes cards off the rack, writes down the gift cards' numbers, and scratches off the strip on the back of the cards to get the security codes.

Once he has that information, he puts replacement strips—easily available online—over the codes and exits the store.

Later, after you buy one of those cards and load money onto it, the hacker gets an alert that tells him that the funds have been loaded onto the card.

"The crooks can see as soon as someone activates the card, because they've automated all this with software that periodically checks the card balance via the internet," says David Farquhar, a unit chief within the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division who explained the crime techniques to Consumer Reports last year.

https://www.consumerreports.org/scams-fraud/gift-card-scam-thieves-can-drain-money-off-cards/

I agree with filing a police report. Also if the card was used in an area where you are not (ie Western Washington vs Eastern Washington) that may help.

Fred Meyer should take this issue seriously as it is rarely just one gift card number that was stolen.
 
May 26, 2018
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#8
Does FredMeyer have the gift cards out in the open?

It sounds like the number was stolen in the manner prescribed below:

The process of stealing the money off gift cards can vary. With the simplest method, a hacker takes cards off the rack, writes down the gift cards' numbers, and scratches off the strip on the back of the cards to get the security codes.

Once he has that information, he puts replacement strips—easily available online—over the codes and exits the store.

Later, after you buy one of those cards and load money onto it, the hacker gets an alert that tells him that the funds have been loaded onto the card.

"The crooks can see as soon as someone activates the card, because they've automated all this with software that periodically checks the card balance via the internet," says David Farquhar, a unit chief within the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division who explained the crime techniques to Consumer Reports last year.

https://www.consumerreports.org/scams-fraud/gift-card-scam-thieves-can-drain-money-off-cards/

I agree with filing a police report. Also if the card was used in an area where you are not (ie Western Washington vs Eastern Washington) that may help.

Fred Meyer should take this issue seriously as it is rarely just one gift card number that was stolen.
Yes, they hang all the gift cards open. Gift card fraud is actually not hard to be spotted but you won't think about it until you actually got one. I guess I learned by lesson by paying 50 bucks, which is not bad.

I agree Fred Meyer should take this seriously, as apparently HD folks are well aware of the issue. I'll try to check their other gift cards and raise to the store if I found any issue.
 
May 26, 2018
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#9
A percentage off the value would be the main reason. Costco has many gift cards available at a discount from the stated value of the card. Many people buy cards from stores other than where it can be redeemed.
To the original poster... Sorry to hear all the trouble. I recently had my credit card number hacked and that is a much easier fix than what you have to do.
My chase card has 5% in grocery, so I bought about 2000 bucks and used them. The $50 one is the one I forgot to use initially.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#10
My chase card has 5% in grocery, so I bought about 2000 bucks and used them. The $50 one is the one I forgot to use initially.
Thank you for this explanation. Like @mmb, I did not understand why people bought gift cards other than as "gifts". Now I get it.

Fraud with gift cards seems to be the new thing, we get inquiries of this nature frequently. The entities who issue the cards and from whom you purchase them, seem to hide their heads in the sand when it must be perfectly obvious by now that the system is broken. Someone will have to file a class action suit I believe ... but I don't know how these cards are issued or who coordinates it all. My husband just told me that one of our clients was warning him about gift cards at least ten years ago. She buys them regularly, but never buys a card that's been "out in public view" in the store.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,380
13,047
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
What is odd about this claim is that it sounds like the PIN number was not uncovered until cyl actually tried to use the card. Most of the time these cards have exposed PIN numbers that are clearly exposed - from the original letter, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
 
Feb 16, 2018
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#12
Any police report should be filed with the department that had jurisdiction over the Fred Meyer where the gift card was purchased, the crime of fraud would have taken place there, not necessarily in the OP's local jurisdiction.
 
Likes: jsn55
May 26, 2018
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#13
Any police report should be filed with the department that had jurisdiction over the Fred Meyer where the gift card was purchased, the crime of fraud would have taken place there, not necessarily in the OP's local jurisdiction.
Yes I filed on in the city of the Fred Meyer as a record. However, I don't think they will treat it seriously, since the amount is very small.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,380
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
They won’t do anything but you need to provide the report number to the store when filing a fraud report because that shows them you aren’t lying about not using the card. You wouldn’t risk perjury charges by reporting the card if you had actually used it and were lying about it.

A thief who was lying wouldn’t file a police report.

Yes I filed on in the city of the Fred Meyer as a record. However, I don't think they will treat it seriously, since the amount is very small.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#15
Even though you lost $50, the scammer likely made a lot more, so for the good of all, please do report it, and it is great that you got the police report. I do hope that Fred Meyer takes this seriously. Neil is correct, a thief does not want to file a false police report or call any sort of attention to themselves.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
May 26, 2018
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#16
Just to provide an update. I did file a police report. Then I contacted Kroger and they filed a claim and told me a refund was going back to my credit card. But later, they told me they can't refund me since HD declined the claim. Kroger told me to contact HD. And HD customer care just keep transferring me to different departments without solving the problem.