PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A scam known as “gift card draining” continues to be a growing problem.
Ginger Allen is finding out first hand. She sent her father a gift card to Outback Steakhouse.
When he tried to use it, the card had a zero balance.
It turns out someone else had stolen the card number and pin.
Both had been “keyed in” at a restaurant, a common practice when a customer does not have the card in hand.
“Some of them will just do really old school, they’ll go into the establishment and start writing down numbers,” said Hasan Aijaz. “Others develop custom written software. That software will return the result to the hackers and say here are the card numbers that have been activate and here is the money you can use.”
Outback says, “We changed the way we produce gift cards last year to cover the pin number. However, older cards may still be found on shelves. Of course, if this happens we fully reimburse our customers.”