NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


How do I know if my Walmart Gift card has been scammed?

Crooks love gift cards as a way to get your money and Walmart cards are one of their favorites. Often you won’t know you’ve been scammed till it’s too late.

How to know if your Walmart gift card has been scammed

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported at the end of 2021 that it had received reports from almost 40,000 people of gift card scams in the first nine months of that year. Crooks had made off with almost $150 million in that period, but the consumer protection agency says that is just a fraction of what was most likely stolen as the vast majority of frauds are not reported.

Scammers prefer gift cards as a way to get their hands on your money, but not just any card will do. The agency says that “over twice as much money was reported lost on Target gift cards than any other brand.” The next most popular gift cards were Google Play, Apple, eBay, and Walmart.

The techniques scammers use are getting more creative every day but there are ways to prevent being taken advantage of and things to watch out for. Walmart stopped nearly $4 million from being stolen from one scam for which it is now compensating customers. But how can you tell if your gift card has been scammed?

How do I know if my Walmart Gift card has been scammed?

Sadly, you most likely will not know until you try to use your gift card at the checkout or check the balance online. That was the case of a man in Canada who was overjoyed to receive $700 in gift cards from Walmart as part of a Black Friday promotion. However, when he went to use the funds on them he found that only 27 cents remained. After doing some sleuthing he came to realize that by posting photos of the cards on his Facebook page, someone was able to use the barcodes to make in-store purchases without the need of the security code.

Watch out for fake barcodes on gift cards

A new technique reported by CBS 12 News in Palm Beach, Florida being used by scammers is placing a paper sticker over the barcode on gift cards. When a victim scans the fake barcode any money that person intended for the legitimate card underneath, instead goes into the crook’s account.

The fraud is undetectable to the human eye, but you can check by touch if the card has been tampered with. When purchasing a gift card, you should run your finger over the barcode which should feel raised to the touch according to the sheriff’s office. If it is smooth and flat, it could be a fake and you should report it.

What to do if you are the victim of a Walmart gift card scam

Walmart expressly warns not to “purchase, sell, or check your balance on online marketplaces outside of” In the event that you think you have been a victim of a gift card scam, both the FTC and Walmart advise to report it to the federal government agency online Report Fraud page. If it was a Walmart gift card, you should also report it to the company by calling (888) 537-5503.