Mom’s PSA: ‘Do not trust Target gift cards’ …. ‘Happened several times to me’

Gift cards, a popular and convenient gift choice, might not be as foolproof as we think. TikToker recently spotlighted a potential issue with Target gift cards, causing many to second-guess their go-to present.

The Unfortunate Birthday Surprise

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Ashley Grijalvaa, known on TikTok as Clean Beauty Mom, shared a disappointing experience involving a gift card scam at Target. In her recent video, which has garnered 37,800 views and counting, she warns her audience about the potential risks associated with Target gift cards.

The video’s caption reads,

“It’s so sad to know there are shady people out there! I never knew this was happening with Target Gift Cards.”

Ashley recounts her excitement to take her 8-year-old son to Target to use his birthday gift cards on Lego sets. However, when they reached the checkout counter, they discovered that online scammers had compromised the gift card amounts.

She urges her viewers, “Do not trust Target gift cards!” emphasizing the need for caution when purchasing or using such cards.

Both Cards Were Empty

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Ashley approached the cashier with two gift cards, clarifying, “These are from two different people.” She then showed a receipt for one of the cards. Upon checking, they discovered that one of the cards had been used in “a completely different city that I don’t even live in,” as Ashley pointed out.

She further elaborated on a potential issue with Target’s gift cards, saying,

“There’s something about Target and the company they use to activate their gift cards where there were hackers that confiscated numbers that were on there.”

It’s worth noting that gift cards are a common tool for various fraudulent activities. Criminals often tamper with these cards even before they’re bought. They typically replace the scratch-off serial number stickers.

Once the card is activated, these thieves quickly deplete its value before the recipient gets a chance to use it.

@ashleygrijalvaa It’s so sad to know there are shady people out there! I never knew this was happening with Target Gift Cards. #target #targetgiftcard #targetgiftcardscam #targetgiftcardscams #fyp #trending ♬ original sound

Public Reactions and Warnings

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Ashley’s viewers shared their own experiences with gift card scams, highlighting that this issue is more common than one might think.

One user, shared, “That happened to my daughter a few months back. They said she had no balance on it. She had just gotten it. Wow!”

Another expressed her regret, saying, “Same! wish we would have known about this before our wedding & showers. received so many like that:/”

Others recounted similar experiences with different brands. A viewer mentioned, “This has happened to me a few times with a few different cards! home Depot card, Chili’s card! now I just put cash in a card! let them buy whatever!”

Another shared their disappointment with Target, stating, “This happened to 2 of my Target gift cards. One for $50 & one for $25 & neither of them had anything on them & I hadn’t used them yet they were new.”

Given the frequency of such incidents, some commenters suggested alternatives to gift cards. One person recommended, “We stopped buying all gift cards as we’ve seen this happen to family. Now we buy a gift on Amazon and ship it for free.”

Another echoed the sentiment, advising, “Happened several times to me. I will no longer give gift cards.. cash is just as good.”

Avoiding Target Gift Card Scams

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Illustration. Image Credit: Brenda Rocha – Blossom/Shutterstock.

While popular and convenient, Target gift cards have become a tool for scammers. These fraudsters employ various tactics, such as impersonating trusted organizations or creating urgent situations to manipulate potential victims.

They might contact you, pretending to be from a reputable organization, and create an emergency scenario to pressure you into buying Target gift cards. Once they obtain the gift card details, they quickly deplete the funds.

It’s crucial to remember that legitimate companies will never demand payment via Target gift cards. If someone insists on such a payment method, it’s a clear red flag.

Recognizing and Thwarting Scammers

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Scammers have devised numerous ways to exploit Target gift card users. Some common scams include government imposters demanding gift card payments, in-store theft of gift card numbers, and fake barcodes on gift cards.

Additionally, they might offer special deals in exchange for gift cards or send fake invoices from Target. It’s essential to be vigilant and question anyone asking for payment in gift cards, whether from Target or another retailer.

Always use trusted payment methods and be wary of unsolicited emails or offers that seem too good to be true.

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This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter.

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.