Watch out for thieves stealing money right off your gift card

Watch out for thieves stealing money right off your gift card

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Thieves go in a store and take a gift card off the rack. They write down the number. They scratch off the back and steal the code.

They wait for you to buy the card and activate it. Then they spend the money before you can.

You may want to get a gift card online instead of inside a brick-and-mortar store. Or just give cash.

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"We got married at Disney, engaged and married at Disney, so it's kind of our place," Amanda Gasser told Channel 9.

She and her husband couldn't wait to go back to Disney World. She was at Target in Mooresville and bought a $325 Disney gift card to use on the trip.

She said three weeks later when they were in Orlando they tried to use the card, and it said there was no balance.

"They tried it a couple times, and they said, 'I'm sorry, there's no money on here,'" she told Action 9 reporter Jason Stoogenke. "I hadn't even touched the card yet."

Gasser said Disney told her thieves probably got to her card first. So she complained to Target.

"My friend actually suggested that I contact [Action 9] because I was back and forth with Target for a very long time. I was on the phone with them for about 10 hours total. Three different departments. It was just a mess," she said.

Action 9 got involved and Gassner said Target refunded her for her trouble. But don't assume a store will refund that money. When it's gone, it's usually gone.

Target said it was "glad" it was able to "remedy this situation for our guest."

Stoogenke asked if Target is doing anything differently to undermine gift card thieves but the company would not say.