New scam to be aware of – gift card scalping

A few times in my life I’ve bought tickets for an event, such as a concert or baseball game, from a scalper in the vicinity of the event itself.  The results have been mixed; sometimes the tickets are what they say the are, sometimes not, but I went into them with the full knowledge that I might not get exactly what was being offered.

If someone offers to sell you a Home Depot gift card at a steep discount, right in front of Home Depot, you might be suspicious and with good reason, as this report of just such a scam relates.  There is simply no way to tell on the spot whether a gift card has any value on it whatsoever. In this sense a gift card is much easier to fake than an event ticket.

Many of the scams involving gift cards are due to people doing what common sense would dictate otherwise.  It’s definitely not a good idea to buy a gift card from some random person on the street, or on Craigslist.  Ebay at least has some buyer protections (through PayPal).  You best bet if you want to buy discounted gift cards is to use one of the secondary marketplaces we’ve listed on our resources page.