Secure Online Gift Giving

Tucked into flaps of cardboard and designed with catchy phrases sits the gift card, a seemingly desirable option for gift-givers worldwide. While a designated amount of money to a chain restaurant or name-brand store may seem like an easy option, what happens when the recipient goes to use the card and it has no money on it?

Gift card scams are accelerating in today’s digital age. “Gift card draining” is when a scammer steals a gift card security number/code and replaces it with a fake one (Weisholtz). When a consumer buys a gift card, the money is immediately voided from the card. No money is available on the card for the original purchaser or eventual user. Thieves adapted over the years to create cards and security seals that appear reliable and normal. Since summer 2023, little progress has been made in addressing these scams. CVS is calling for gift card monitoring, and the Retail Gift Card Association recommends calling the card company if you are a victim of “gift card draining” (Mayfield).

The Federal Trade Commission identified gift cards as the first payment method for scammers, leading to 65 million people scammed out of $228 million in 2022 (Cerullo). Target is the most common store hit by these “draining scams.” Target gift cards account for $35 million in payments to scammers, reigning as the highest brand of card demanded in fake emails (Mayfield). Whether scammers call people claiming to be the government demanding money or pre-activate the card at the store, trust in gift cards is declining. 

Americans possess $21 billion in unused, forgotten, or lost gift cards (Kavilanz). Years of gift cards from distant relatives or random neighbors build quite the collection, especially if the place for purchase is of no interest to the recipient. From the point of view of the gifter, they want you to spend the money, but they mean nothing stuck at the bottom of the junk drawer. 

Enter getGFTD, our secure gift-giving app with personalized wishlists, a secure payment platform, and protection over your data. getGFTD eliminates the awkward gift card exchange and the fear of a “draining” scam. Our mission centers on intrapersonal gift giving, something physical gift cards and other online money platforms cannot offer. Givers can select wishes from personal lists and send you the exact amount of money for that specific transaction. Gone are pointless gift cards with the risk of loss or scam. Featuring customized wishlists, the app elevates the act of gift-giving to be convenient, spontaneous, and secure. So, go on and getGFTD.

Sources:

Cerullo, Megan. “Caught in a gift card scam? Here’s how to get your money back.” CBS News

August 21, 2023.

Kavilanz, Parija. “Americans have a collective $21 billion in unspent gift cards.” CNN Business

February 23, 2023.

Mayfield, Jay. “FTC Data Show Major Increase in Gift Cards As Scam Payment Method.” 

Federal Trade Commission, December 8, 2021.

Weisholtz, Drew. “What is gift card draining?” NBC Universal, December 20, 2023.

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