Free Gift Card

Free Gift Card Scam: How It Works

(with videos below)

Did you just come across a tempting free gift card or voucher offer on social media, such as $150 or $500 from Starbucks, Footlocker, Walgreens, Sam’s, Amazon, Costco or Target? There are 6 variations of the Free Gift Card Scam, the last one featuring a fake Starbucks apologetic message for the Coronavirus-related store closing. Let’s see.

It’s always nice when a store that you visit often offers free gift cards for your loyalty. As the latest in a series of free gift card scams proves, the allure of getting something for nothing is often the quickest road to getting ripped-off. Recently, big brands such as Target, Starbucks, Costco, Shell, Zara, Windstream, Wal-Mart, Footlocker, or Asda are being used as a front for the latest phishing scams. Let’s take a look at the six variants of this scam:

 

Variant 1: Starbucks/Costco/Target Gift Card Scam

Watch the video below to see in action the Starbucks/Target Gift Card Scam on Facebook:

Scammers impersonate the coffee shop brand by blasting mass emails, apologizing for store closures due to the COVID-19 and offering a gift card via a link. Well, the link takes the potential victims to a page where they are directed to fill out their personal information

The typical scam (when not COVID-19 related) comes on Facebook or email from crooks claiming to represent Starbucks, Zara, or Costco. “Claim your Free Zara [Starbucks] Voucher Now. Only a few left” is the message you might see posted by one of your Facebook friends. What happens if you click on the link shared with you by one of your friends? You will end up on a webpage encouraging you to share the “offer”, post something nice about Costco/Starbuck/Zara, and like a Facebook page.

What happens is that the scammers behind it are getting direct traffic to websites hosting online surveys, which will in turn earn them an affiliate commission. Indeed, since the webpage you land on tells you that the gift vouchers are in short supply, the encouragement to act quickly rather than think about it brings the crooks serious cash.

Meanwhile, there is a variant of this version of the Gift Card Scam. Here is how it works – watch this video:

 

Variant 2: Face to Face Deal (with scam caught on camera video)

You might be in a mall, airport, or… in a very good mood when somebody approaches you with a gift card that he or she might need to get rid of. Watch the video below to see in action a face to face gift card scam caught on camera.

 

Variant 3: Visit a Website, Fill Out a Form

Going back to the gift cards and vouchers, there is a different variation of the scam. Shoppers are receiving emails, purportedly from the supermarket chains mentioned above, offering them gift cards ranging in value from 50 to 1,000 dollars or pounds. The email urges customers to visit a website in order to fill out a form to receive their gift card.

While on the site, victims are giving out their personal identification information, leaving themselves open to identity theft. The gift card, of course, never comes.

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Variant 4: Computer Boxes

Along the same lines (survey pages), there is another scam that brings up Dell Computers’ name. Criminals are promoting Facebook posts such as:

“We have an extra 200 boxes of Dell computers that can’t be sold off because they have been unsealed. Therefore we are giving them away. Want one of them? Just SHARE this photo & LIKE our page.”

They say they will choose 200 people completely at random and winners will be notified via inbox message.” Indeed, you will never receive any computer boxes.

Variant 5: Affiliate Earnings

As soon as you click any “Redeem voucher” or “Get Your Gift Card Now” buttons, a new blank page opens, having just one small notification: “Upgrade needed. Please upgrade your mobile to the latest version”. This is a dead giveaway since the whole thing happens on your computer and not on your mobile phone.

However, if you click OK you are taken to a bad design page offering several products for download. This questionable webpage will hit you with offers such as “Get PC to Mobile Free SMS messaging tools” or “Access site for online dictation, voice to text, VOIP, and free ringtones”.

Once you press the ‘Click to install’, you’ll either install malicious software on your computer/phone (leading to loss of personal information and identity theft) or simply install unnecessary programs that you don’t need but place money in scammer’s pockets.

If you look in the browser at the address listed there, you might even see the name of a totally different business/brand. Typically, this is followed by some numbers or an ID code.

What happens is that the scammers create all these fake Free Gift Card campaigns to direct traffic to legitimate websites, which will in turn earn them affiliate commission once you install a product.

fake gift card email

Recommended Read: Deepfake: Examples and Dangers

How to Avoid the Gift Card Scam

Large retailers such as Costco, Wal-Mart, Asda, or Target advise their customers that they rarely if ever offer these kinds of deals to customers, and never through unsolicited email campaigns.

The real ones do have marketing campaigns encouraging people to “like” their posts and share them, but giving away $500 vouchers to millions of Facebook users just doesn’t seem right.

If you receive one of these offers or emails, contact the company and verify the deal. Chances are, there is no deal and you’ve saved yourself the pain of identity theft. These sorts of scams are often circulated on Facebook as well. Be advised that companies also do not advertise these deals on Facebook either. It is rare that a consumer gets something for nothing; be aware of this and protect yourself from becoming an easy target.

If you really want to participate in rewards programs and gift cards are your thing, use only legitimate companies. One of the most trustworthy services out there is Swagbucks.com, which is the largest online rewards portal dedicated to helping customers earn gift cards, electronics, and exclusive merchandise. You can visit their website and register for free HERE. They offer a $5 sign-up bonus.

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Free Gift Card Scam

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Bad Credit Car Loans Scam

Low Interest Rate Credit Cards Scam

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Hair Loss Treatment/ Hair Restoration Scam

Adopt A Pet/ Dogs For Adoption Scam


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28 thoughts on “Free Gift Card”

  1. Beware of the Lowes gift card scam. It says that Lowes supermarket offers a free coupon of $250 to everyone this week to support the nation during Corona Pandemic. It sends you to some redeems page.

  2. Now they are using Woolworths name. saying that due to Coronavirus Woolworthsis giving away $250 worth of groceries to support the nation . Scam!

  3. I am getting deluged with Free Gift Card email. CVS, Marshalls,Walgreens. At least 10 a day, everyday. You go to unsubscribe and of course you can’t. My delete key works fine.

  4. For all you nubes who don’t know any better never give out your real phone number,email address,or name.If you going to sign up for gift cards,rewards,loans,or anything like this use athrow away email server that allows you to have multiple alias email addresses on one account,so that you can test the water out to see if it is a scam or not therefore you can then delete the email address you used to sign up and know one can scam nor contact you again. Never use a server like GMAIL,YAHOO,HOTMAIL,OUTLOOK they are not safe and can be tracked! You don’t want to have to close you whole account just to change or delete your email address in event of these scams happening to you do you? Second never use your real mobile or landline number always shield it with server sites like Google Voice/Hangouts,or TextNow or Skype to stay safe these services provide you accurate caller ID so if they say they calling from CA but the number shows up as Douglas WY on the caller ID then you know it’s BS!. These servers will allow you to block unwanted telemarketing,scams,pranks calls from anywhere,anyone! Third never use your real address,whether it’s home or work always use a P.O. Box for packages or if you do allot of online shopping,shipping and receiving.Also do research when receiving unknown,telemarketing scams like these stated above.These idiots mostly Hindu’s and Muslims from India are considered the #1 scammers in the world when it comes to telemarketing,credit/debit cards,support centers for phones,computers and identity theft etc they will always use different numbers and block you or put the number they called you from out service not reachable,meaning you can block one number from them and they will just call again on another. Third learn how to use a recorder to record suspicious phone calls for evidence and then report the number and post the recording to phone call reporting sites like "EveryCaller.com","WhoCalledMe",or "ThatsThem"."WhitePages" these sites come in handy when you want to know more about a phone number and where it comes from,what carrier it is,whether it’s a scam,spam,prank etc.Fourth you can always report these scams and pranks to the IC3 FBI Website https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx and they will investigate your complaint and more likely take the source down! These are just tips and advice but you don’t have to take my word for it! If they can’t tell you there site name,nor your name and number that their automated system says you signed up too then it’s indeed a scam,prank,spam etc duh.

  5. I know of two convenient stores down the street. I couldn’t believe both fell for that Gift Card scam. Each time they claimed to me a district manager or higher up calling midnight shifts. The two guys working panicked. They accivated some gift cards and gave them the money directly over the phone. I only know the one who works at GoMart but the other dude was 7eleven. I personally got the government call claimingbI won thousands but I hung up on the guy. Then my neighbor said she lost money over a utility bill scam. If u don’t got that one up then you need it. She is a older lady and said tons of her friends done the same thing. The utility one is targeting older people. Most the rest target young folks. If I sat here longer I could think of more. My neighborhood was really nice and now it’s hell. I was the only small apartment building on my hill. Only holds 4 units. Now there is 2 big ones so close I could throw a rock and hit them. It’s not just my hill. My entire town has a methamphetamine addiction. Thebcops were going to clean it but that’s been awhile. I suppose they thought it was a lost cause. Whatever happened to smoking a bit of pot. Make sure your alone and if youngster kids…….. Get a baby sister. Lol I don’t have any. I think those types of people are the ones ripping off other people. We should literally ban any ingriedent America has to make it. Just a thought. If I go crazy one day I’ll look them up and burn some. Slow some of the users down around here. Help the corrupt corporate cops. Those dang yearly tickets….. Forgot what they call the whole think. The police no longer work to protect is only. Been wanting to ask one but I’m going to memorize some questions that will killvhim. These corporations have taken over America and we allowed it. That is just sad. I feel bad for them too because eventually the Elites will do away with them the same. They all need Jesus in their life. Pray to God.

  6. xandrea ocampo

    hi! are you interested in making money and getting gift cards for free? i am offering you a fastest in a free way! you will just need a gadget and internet. (so easy right?) http://www.po—–s.com/ref/361082 sign up and get your account in this link now. you can earn money or gift cards by reedeeming the points you earned. how to earn points?? by taking surveys and by referral links i hope i help you have great day

  7. Kohl's Gift Card

    I just received an email supposedly coming from Kohl’s. The subject title is: "Go Shopping at KOHLS with a $50 Gift Card!?" Then a nice image with this gift card shows up. When you click on it it took me to a random website dogcatselfie.com, where there are a bunch of videos non-related to Kohl’s! Scam!

  8. I just received two emails this morning with this scam. One with a $100 from Walgreens (name of the sender was Gift_Card_Alert) and the other one with the same amount from Sam’s Club (from "National Rewards Surveys). Beware!

  9. Just called a toll-free number to claim $50 worth of gift certificates for Wal-Mart (I don’t shop at Wal-Marts). I had gotten a post-card saying that I had an unclaimed reward for $50, which would expire in about 2 1/2 weeks. It had my correct name, address, and a Claim number. When I called (866 number), I was asked for $2.95 shipping, or processing, I forget. But when she asked for a credit card number, I smelled a rat, and didn’t give it out. Told her to ship it postage-due if she wanted, but I wasn’t gonna give her that card number. The post- card also says, I notice now, that it’s good at Wal-Mart or Target , my choice. Those companies aren’t related – they’re competitors. I saw that too late to throw it back in her face, but at least I did refuse and other people can be aware of how they’re running this scam. Once they’ve got that card number, you’re screwed, so Be CAREFUL !!

  10. Hoisted jewelers also has a scam, after you order there crappy jewelry they’ll send a card that Says,,,,,,,you’ve won a Walmart gift card just call this number,,,,,,,, well my stupidity I’ve claimed 3 cards and paid 1.99 processing each time and haven’t received SHIT!!

  11. Yea…. its FRAUD N CHEATING. No one got the Starbucks free voucher or email in this regard after genuinly completing the servey. Me n my friendz experienced the same.

  12. Oh NO!!!
    I filled my information into one of the starbucks voucher scams!!!
    I gave my email and my surname.
    Wow….
    What will happen now?
    What can I now do??????
    Please advice!!!

  13. oh my Goddddddddd…. i’d just filled my information into one of the starbucks voucher scam. i gave email and my surname. oh my.. what would possibly happen ? can the crook hack my bank acc , etc ???

  14. Augeston Simon

    I need information about $100 gift vouchers presented by a fake company named National Advertisers based in Charlottesville Virginia USA if you have any information about them and the bogus legal statements given by them ,then please share it here.Thanks.

  15. Target is doing a $100 gift card hook. Attached is links to other surveys and PCH. Got hooked, didn’t realize I gave out DOB to scammers!! Feel lousy!!

  16. This one from "support@alkhaleejnews.net" is also a SCAM:

    Enjoy your Starbucks Card eGift
    AT&T has sent you a $20* Starbucks Card eGift. While you think of your next favorite beverage to enjoy, take a look at your gift and how it works.

    DO NOT OPEN the attachment or print the coupon!!!

  17. Be careful if you receive an email from "Starbucks" with a free gift card. The sender is support@ficomundyt.org. The content of the email says:

    Enjoy your Starbucks Card eGift
    AT&T has sent you a $20* Starbucks Card eGift. While you think of your next favorite beverage to enjoy, take a look at your gift and how it works.

    Enjoing your eGift is easy. Just print it out and bring it into any participating Sturbucks store.

    Your Card Security Code: 7582 3946

    Print your Gift [malicious link]"

    Notice the grammar mistakes in it ("enjoing", "Sturbucks").

  18. I don’t remember what website I was on but I do remember giving out was my name, number, and address. Nothing more. I got a call saying I won a $250.00 gift card and it will be mailed to me. I can’t say I’m happy about this because it sounds pretty off. Any advice?

  19. I am in Australia and just received a message on my Facebook wall: "Get a Free $400 Woolworths Voucher Now". Don’t open the link, it’s a virus!

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