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Walmart Gift Card Scam

A former Wal-Mart employee was charged yesterday for stealing gift cards. The employee, who worked at a Manheim Township, PA Wal-Mart is accused of stealing 12 gift cards from customers. Here is how the scheme worked: When a customer buys a gift card, the employee will give them a gift card with no value on it. Once the customer leaves, the employee will then put the amount the customer paid on another gift card and use it to shop at the store.

This trend of cashiers stealing gift cards from customers is gaining ground and I covered it under the Gift Card Scam Series back in July 2008. So, how do you avoid becoming a victim of this scam? First, you need to pay attention to what the cashier is doing when you hand them the gift card. They will usually scan, swipe, or manually enter the card information into the system, then add the value you requested. The amount of gift card you are buying should appear on the screen. Once you pay for the gift card, check the back of the gift card and compare the serial number or card number with the number shown on the receipt. If you are unable to, ask the cashier to help you locate the gift card information on the receipt.

If you are not satisfied with the match, politely ask the cashier to check the balance on the card and print you a receipt for the balance. It may come across a bit odd or a little over the top but a cashier with nothing to hide should gladly help you make sense of your purchase.


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  1. groovykarma

    This happened to me last Christmas at Walmart. The cashier went ahead and processed correctly; then dropped the card on the floor by her feet. Of course I couldn’t see what she was doing as I was paying for the $50.00 purchase. She then handed me the card with the receipt. I didn’t realize until a couple weeks later when
    the gift card was found to have a zero balance. I took the card and receipt to Walmart and the employee no longer worked there. They would not honor the receipt and card telling me I should have gone to them immediately. They said they have no way of knowing if I was showing them the correct card or receipt. I learned a costly lesson to check the receipt with the card BEFORE leaving the register. This year I will NOT give WalMart gift cards.

  2. vavvis

    The same thing just happened to me. I bought a gift card with 25.00. When the person I gave it to tried to redeem it later, there was no money on the card. It had never been activated. The manager of the store said someone redeemed the card the same day I purchased it. How could that be if i still had the card in my possession until Christmas, when I gave it as a Christmas present. They would not refund my money because they said they don’t know who redeemed the card. Although it was only 25.00, I was upset because the cashier was very dishonest. I know she took it. I too will no longer purchase Wal Mart gift cards anymore.

  3. Wow those are horrible stories, its such a pity that people have to be so dishonest, but this is a lesson to us all when getting gift cards we have to always double check t see if there is a balance on there and not take it at face value that there is .

  4. Ray

    Hello I’m worried about a person constantly contacting me about getting him Walmart gift cards stating he collects them from different country’s. Could there be a chance its a scam?

  5. Hey, well a lot of fraud these days……Surf Safe!!!

  6. josh

    i bet that happened to me today.

  7. josh

    it said i had no certificate id,

    it should of at least told me what that ment

  8. eric

    i worked in customer service at a walmart for a few years and i have seen a scam that happenned like this, lady comes in with a card and asks me to scan it to check balance on card, it had 0 value, the card had never even been activated, she said that had to be wrong since it said $50.00 on the card, it was obviously a card someone just stole since they are right on the racks. she said she was at a gas station and a lady said she needed gas money but all she had for payment was a walmart gift card with $50.00 on it but would sell it for $25.00 just so she could get gas. a few days later i had another customer come in that had the exact same scam pulled on them.

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