Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Irving Weekly Title

Plano, Texas News

Plano Police, Secret Service, and ICE Collaborate to Thwart Gift Card Scam, Two Arrested

In a joint effort between the Plano Police Department Forgery Unit, the United States Secret Service (USSS), and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), authorities seized over 4,100 tampered gift cards from various retailers, including Apple, Sephora, Amazon, and Foot Locker. This operation, conducted in the first half of April, followed extensive investigations and surveillance across the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, resulting in the prevention of potential scams amounting to over $649,000.

The scam, known as "Gift Card Draining," involves scammers stealing unpurchased gift card numbers and PIN codes from stores, resealing them, and placing them back on shelves undetected. When unsuspecting customers purchase these compromised cards, scammers quickly drain the funds, leaving the buyers at a loss.

Thanks to collaborative efforts and strong relationships with local retailers like Walmart, H-E-B, Tom Thumb-Albertsons, Walgreens, and CVS, law enforcement was able to identify and remove tampered cards from circulation. The integration of traditional police methods with modern technology played a pivotal role in the success of the investigation.

Two arrests have been made thus far, with more expected as the investigation continues. The coordinated effort between USSS and ICE indicates that this scam may extend beyond Texas.

The Plano Police Department urges the public to remain vigilant when purchasing gift cards and report any suspicious activity. Consumers should inspect cards before purchase and retain receipts as proof. In case of becoming a victim, individuals are advised to contact the retailer or funds provider, file reports with law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission.

If you become a victim of gift card draining, here are the steps to take:

  1. If the gift card is for a specific store, contact the retailer and explain the missing funds, supported by the receipt.
  2. If it's a prepaid card, look at the back and contact the funds provider (such as InComm Payments, Green Dot, or Blackhawk) to report the stolen funds and attempt to recover any remaining balance.
  3. File a report with the law enforcement agency where the card was purchased, as well as with the Federal Trade Commission.

The investigation remains ongoing, and anyone with relevant information is encouraged to contact the tip-line at 972-941-5555.

You May Also Like