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Counterfeit gift certificates

What it is

When fake gift cards, certificates or bonds for a high street retailer or business are made by someone to look genuine and sold to consumers.

Protect yourself

  • Buy gift cards or certificates direct from the retailer or through a reputable third-party supplier.
  • Search online to find out more about who’s offering you the certificates; do they have a bad reputation elsewhere, or is there very little known about them?
  • If your business accepts gift certificates, make sure that employees know which gift certificates are valid, what security features they should look for and which certificates are no longer accepted.

Spot the signs

  • You’re offered gift certificates from a person or company you’ve never heard of before.
  • The certificates are offered to you at a lower price than the value they can be used for in store.
  • The cards or certificates look badly made or poorly printed, or they don’t have any visible security features to prove they’re genuine such as a hologram sticker.

How it happens

When a fraudster sells a counterfeit gift card or certificate, either the consumer they’ve sold it to or the business they’ve counterfeited will lose out.

You’ll either be told in store that the gift card is invalid and can’t be used, or the cashier accepts the gift certificate unaware that it’s fake and the business loses stock.

In some cases, the fake gift certificates are for a particular brand sold by a third-party retailer. In this case, the stockist loses out when they try to redeem the voucher from the brand.

How to report it

If Fraud has been committed report it to Action Fraud. For more advice and to raise any concerns, contact the Office of the Public Guardian.

Source - Action Fraud

Date Published: Jul 21, 2018

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person.

Advance fee fraud

Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

Corporate fraud

Corporate fraud can be any fraud committed against a business.

Individual fraud

Individual fraud could be any fraud that targets a person directly. Individual frauds can differ from frauds affecting businesses and other organisations.

Online fraud

Some fraudsters rely on the internet to commit their crimes. Learn about some different types of internet frauds that and how to protect yourself and get safe online.

Identity fraud and identity theft

Identity theft is when your personal details are stolen and identity fraud is when those details are used to commit fraud.
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