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Tarjetas de regalo / de prepago / de recompensa

Tarjetas de regalo / de prepago / de recompensa

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El dinero que se pone en las tarjetas regalo es como el dinero en efectivo: una vez que se gasta, es casi seguro que no se puede recuperar. Los estafadores han desarrollado dos tácticas de fraude distintas para las tarjetas regalo: las estafas de pago y el robo directo de tarjetas regalo. Los estafadores suelen utilizar las tarjetas de regalo de Amazon, Walmart, iTunes, eBay, Target y otras tarjetas populares como conductos de dinero en efectivo en estafas telefónicas y de impostores. eBay es actualmente la tarjeta más solicitada por los estafadores.

Tarjetas de prepago

Tipos de delitos:
  • Fraudsters can purchase prepaid cards with stolen credit card information. Most prepaid card providers have established law enforcement escalation numbers, which can be reached by calling the phone number on the back of the prepaid card and requesting the law enforcement or fraud/risk hotline.
  • Another type of fraud occurs if you receive a credit, debit, or prepaid card in the mail (other than a renewal of an existing card) that you did not request or apply for the specific card. This can indicate that you may be a victim of identity theft fraud.
  • Card reloading fraud: Fraudsters get gift cards that they didn't pay for and call the company that loads them. They claim to be from the payment processor and trick a representative from the company to keep loading the card so they can use an ATM to offload free money. 
  • Stolen cards: Fraudsters physically steal activated prepaid cards and use them to purchase items. 
  • Advance fee scams: You've probably heard of these before. Someone gets an email telling them there's a lot of money coming their way if they just pay a little fee upfront to handle taxes or customs or some other issue. Traditionally these scams have been conducted using wire transfers, but these days many fraudsters ask the victim to buy a prepaid card and use that, making the purchase harder to trace.
  • Tax fraud: Many states and the federal government allow refunds to go to prepaid cards. Some fraudsters complete tax forms using information from stolen identities and then load the cards with their ill-gotten refund.
  • Repair fraud: An individual receives a call from someone claiming to be from a major technology company who asks for remote access to their computer. They then suggest that the computer is full of malware or that their identity has been stolen, and attempt to get the person to buy a prepaid card or to give them access to their bank accounts to check their security. In either case, these fraudsters get the gift cards and then cash them in elsewhere and take the money. 
  • Swapped cards: A fraudster surreptitiously opens the packaging of a reloadable prepaid card in the store and swaps it with an identical card they've purchased themselves and cloned. When a customer buys the swapped card and adds funds to it, the fraudster steps in and uses those funds, via the cloned card, to make purchases or ATM withdrawals.
  • Skimmed cards: A fraudster skims the card information from the magnetic stripe of a prepaid card in the store. When a customer purchases and activates the card, the fraudster uses the skimmed card information to make online purchases.

Estafas telefónicas y en línea con tarjetas de regalo

Recuerde siempre que las tarjetas regalo son para regalar y no para pagar.

  • Government official - A fraudster claims to be with a federal or state agency and is calling about a fake debt.  The callers try to pressure you for payment through a prepaid gift card and may threaten you with punishment if you do not comply.  Keep in mind that NO government agency or reputable business will EVER ask for payment with gift cards.
  • Relaciones románticas o de pareja en línea en las que se utiliza una tarjeta de regalo para enviar dinero a alguien.
  • Tech support warns you about a computer virus or other issue that needs to be resolved.  Other tech support scams may offer you a refund for overpaid services of software.
  • Someone posing as a retailer offering deals and promotions on gadgets, televisions, and other consumer electronics.
  • Callers pretending to be from a utility company telling you to pay your bill by gift card or they’ll cut off your power or water.
  • Someone impersonating your boss either using a spoofed email address or by hacking into their account.
  • Sellers on online auction sites who ask for gift cards to “buy” big items like cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs, tractors, and electronics.
  • Someone posing as a military service member to get your sympathy, saying he has to sell something quickly before deployment and needs you to pay with a gift card.
  • Callers who say you’ve won a so-called prize for a sweepstake you probably never entered – but first, you have to use a gift card to pay fees or other charges.
  • Someone buying something from you probably online, who sends a check for more than the purchase price – and asks you to give them the difference on a gift card. 
  • Estafa cuando los estafadores le pagan por una tarjeta (o por el código de la tarjeta), pero luego impugnan o cancelan el cargo cuando ya han utilizado la tarjeta regalo.
  • Estafa cuando los estafadores le piden que compre un montón de tarjetas de regalo a cambio de un artículo en un sitio de subastas, y luego nunca le envían realmente la compra.

Protéjase contra las estafas telefónicas y por Internet de las tarjetas de regalo: 

  • Do not read or text the PIN number on the back of a gift card to anyone as scammers can use the number like they can use cash. The scammer uses that information to get the money you’ve loaded on the card. Don’t give them those numbers. It’s a scam. You’ll lose your money, and you won’t be able to get it back.
  • Los organismos públicos o las empresas de renombre no confían en las tarjetas regalo para pagar.
  • Only use gift cards at reputable online stores.
  • No utilice tarjetas de regalo para enviar dinero.
  • The scammer says it’s urgent. They tell you to pay right away or something terrible will happen. They try to pressure you into acting quickly, so you don’t have time to think or talk to someone you trust. Don’t pay. It’s a scam.
  • The scammer tells you which gift card to buy. They might tell you to put money on a Google Play, Target, or iTunes gift card — or send you to a specific store like Walmart, Target, or CVS. Sometimes they tell you to buy cards at several stores, so cashiers won’t get suspicious. If so, stop. It’s a scam.

Gift Card Exchanges

Gift card exchanges are useful for gift cards that go unused – like when you receive a gift card from a store where you don’t frequently shop. Gift card exchanges allow consumers to sell their gift cards for a payout that is less than the gift card’s value, and purchase other previously owned gift cards at a discount.  Not gift card exchanges all offer equal experiences to shoppers.  Here are some tips to consider when using a gift card exchange:
  • When selling a gift card, expect to make less than the value of the card. A shopper selling a $100 gift card to a gift card exchange will not receive a $100 payout. The exact amount of payout will depend on the exchange used and the demand for the particular card being sold.
  • Select gift card exchanges that verify the balance of gift cards before selling to shoppers. This will help protect you from buying cards that might carry less value than advertised, or that could even be empty. (An important consideration since gift cards sold via gift card exchanges are previously owned goods.)
  • Use gift card exchanges that offer post-purchase guarantees. Reputable exchanges will offer you a guarantee that the cards you purchase are legitimate and verified.
  • Pay attention to how and when the payout will happen. Some gift card exchanges found in retail locations will only offer payment via store gift cards. Online exchanges may offer payment via a mailed check, direct deposit, or PayPal. Also, some exchanges may take lengthy amounts of time to pay sellers, and/or may not have practices in place that protect sellers in the event their payout is lost in the mail. Reputable exchanges will offer to track a payment shipment.
  • Make sure the cards purchased or sold online do not have additional fees associated or expiration dates that have already passed. It is not uncommon for some third-party resellers to neglect to tell buyers that the cards they purchased are about to expire.
  • Don’t buy and sell gift cards to/from unknown individuals. Make sure to use genuine gift card exchange companies versus private sellers on Craigslist or other sites. These individuals do not offer any guarantees to protect you and could end up being criminals.

Protéjase de otros tipos de fraude con tarjetas regalo:

  • Don't buy gift cards displayed prominently within the store.  Ask sales clerks to sell you cards from the back room or behind the customer service desk.
  • Examine cards and packaging for signs of tampering.  Don't buy a card where the coating covering the PIN number has been scratched away or the activation sticker isn't firmly affixed.  Examine the protective scratch-off area on the back of the card for evidence of tampering.
  • Check the bar code on the back of the gift card to make sure that it has not been tampered with.  For example, the barcode should feel smooth and not raised.  Fraudsters have been known to glue a fake bar code over the real bar code.  In this situation, the money you spend to purchase the gift card is diverted to a fraudster's gift card at the time of purchase.  This would result in your gift card having a zero balance since the money that was loaded was transferred at the time of purchase. 
  • Spend the gift card as soon as possible. Don't put the card in a drawer for months. 
  • Beware of online exchanges and auction sites.  Online buy cards from reputable online exchanges or auction sites because of the possibility of buying stolen cards. 
  • Si adquiere tarjetas de regalo para regalar, asegúrese de que proceden de una fuente de confianza.
  • Consider gift cards the same as cash and secure them like you would your wallet.
  • Comprueba las reseñas de cualquier sitio web que utilices.
  • Always review gift card balances before and after purchasing the card.
  • If you sell a gift card, don’t give out the card’s PIN until your payment transaction is complete.
  • Beware of social media postings offering vouchers or gift cards: Fraudulent messages can sometimes appear to have been shared by a friend when they really come from a fraudster.

Denuncie las estafas con tarjetas de regalo

What if you paid a scammer with a gift card?  If you paid a scammer with a gift card, tell the company that issued the card right away. When you contact the company, tell them the gift card was used in a scam. Ask them if the money is still on the card, and if they can refund your money. If you act quickly enough, the company might be able to get your money back. Be aware that some companies will not return any money even if the gift card hasn't been used. Remember to keep the gift card itself, and keep the gift card receipt. Also, tell the store where you bought the gift card as soon as possible.

A continuación se presenta una lista de tarjetas que los estafadores suelen utilizar, con información para ayudar a denunciar una estafa. Si la tarjeta que has utilizado no está en esta lista, es posible que encuentres la información de contacto de la empresa de tarjetas regalo en la propia tarjeta.

  • Llame al 1 (888) 280-4331
  • Conserve la propia tarjeta de Amazon y el recibo de la tarjeta de Amazon.
  • Conozca las estafas con tarjetas de regalo de Amazon y cómo denunciarlas aquí.
  • Llame inmediatamente al 1 (866) 305-3229. Diga "representante" después de la primera pregunta. A continuación, diga "tarjeta de regalo" después de la siguiente pregunta para conectar con un representante en directo.
  • Reenvíe los correos electrónicos sospechosos sobre las tarjetas de regalo de Ebay que compró a Incluya los primeros 9 dígitos de su tarjeta de regalo de Ebay.
  • Conserve la propia tarjeta de Ebay y el recibo de la tarjeta de Ebay.
  • Conozca las estafas con tarjetas de regalo de Ebay y cómo denunciarlas aquí.
Google Play
  • Llame al 1 (855) 466-4438
  • Denuncie las estafas con tarjetas de regalo en Internet aquí.
  • Conserve la propia tarjeta de Google Play y el recibo de la tarjeta de Google Play.
  • Conozca las estafas con tarjetas de regalo de Google Play y cómo denunciarlas aquí.
  • Llama al Soporte Técnico de Apple inmediatamente al 1 (800) 275-2273. Diga "tarjeta de regalo" para conectarse con un representante en vivo.
  • Pregunta si el dinero sigue en la tarjeta de iTunes. Si es así, Apple puede congelarlo. Es posible que te devuelvan el dinero.
  • Conserva la propia tarjeta de iTunes y el recibo de la misma.
  • Conozca las estafas con tarjetas de regalo de iTunes y cómo denunciarlas aquí.
  • Si tienes una cuenta de Steam, puedes denunciar estafas con tarjetas de regalo en línea aquí.
  • Conserva la propia tarjeta de Steam y el recibo de la misma.
  • Conozca las estafas con tarjetas de regalo de Steam y cómo denunciarlas aquí.
  • Llame al 1 (866) 795-7969
  • Conserve la propia tarjeta MoneyPak y el recibo de la tarjeta MoneyPak.
  • Conozca las estafas con tarjetas de regalo MoneyPak y cómo denunciarlas aquí.

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