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Holiday Scam Alert: Gift Card Stripping



If you give a gift card this season, you could be susceptible to a fraud scheme.

If you give a gift card this season, you could be susceptible to a fraud scheme.

Gift cards are one of the most popular presents of the holiday season, but could they lead to disappointment from the recipient? Maybe. Beyond suffering through the usual, “gift cards show that you put no thought towards what I might like” speech, they may also make you susceptible to fraud.

Gifts cards are easier to compromise than you may think. They have no shelf value, no owner’s information and no way to be traced. All a fraudster has to do is buy a scanner, scan the gift cards on the shelf to retrieve the card information, and then wait for them to be purchased.

How do they know if the cards have been purchased?  Easy. The status and value can simply be checked online. Once you’ve purchased it, the fraudster is able to buy products online with the stolen information on the scanner.  Most gift cards are purchased well in advance of the holiday, so the fraudster has plenty of time to shop and spend the available resources on the card before it is even opened.

There are steps you can take to prevent yourself from falling victim. Most retailers have cards that are either under registers or not on the shelf yet. Ask a sales associate for one of those cards. This will minimize the possibility of it being compromised.  If the card looks compromised or has been handled a lot, then do not purchase it.

Kit Powell
Certified Fraud Examiner
616.735.3104
kitp@hscompanies.com



‘Tis The Season To…Hire Temporary Employees



Background checks help protect employers

Background checks help protect employers

USA Today reported, “six of the largest store chains in America will together add more than 300,000 temporary workers during the season to account for the expected higher volume of shoppers”. According to MSNBC, Amazon alone is hiring 50,000 employees for the holiday season. That’s a lot of new faces for employers to keep track of!

While this time of year is busy for stores looking to hire people quickly, some forget one important step — background checks. The ACFE reports that small businesses lose $2.9 trillion annually because of fraud committed by their own workers.  Background checks are one way to help prevent fraud from happening to you.

When running a background check, the first thing to consider is whether you want to run a state or national background check.  When making this decision, keep in mind that a state background check will not show if crimes were committed outside that respected state and may not show a clear picture of the individual’s activities.

Before implementing a background check, your company should have policies regarding best practices and industry requirements. In the policies, it should state what types of crimes would cause you to retract an employee offer. It is best to run a check after an offer is made with a clause that employment is pending results that are in align with your specific policies.

H&S Companies facilitates background checks with real time processing. Our software pulls data from a national database and provides accurate reports of convictions.

For more information, check out the following articles:

To learn more about preventing fraud in your business, contact Kit Powell.

Kit Powell
Certified Fraud Examiner
616.735.3104
kitp@hscompanies.com



Background Check Implementation List



Click here to download H&S Companies’ list of things to consider when implementing a background check.