This morning a friend of mine shared something on Facebook that I think every shopper in Rockford needs to be aware of this holiday season.

This friend works for a national pharmacy chain, and she told me that corporate has been sending emails warning about a scam that involves individuals secretly placing altered Visa Gift Cards on store shelves. She said she thought the scam had not hit the Rockford area yet, that was until she saved a customer from buying one of these gift cards last night.

Provided photo

Upon discovering this problem, she said a quick peruse of the rack of Visa Gift Cards by the registers unveiled 6 more gift cards with altered numbers.

Provided photo

After seeing this I was shocked, and I immediately sent her a message to find out exactly what was happening here. This is what she told me:

Basically in a nut shell they are inserting their card # (the one I pulled out in the picture) so the register will activate their card instead of the prepaid card that is inside. The numbers need to match on the package with the card enclosed. Not sure how they got them in there so tight and it’s extremely difficult to see it’s that good. I had to rip it open to get the fake account out of it.



I then asked how she thought these altered gift cards are finding their way into Rockford stores and she said:

The cards have no value until they are scanned at the registers so I would imagine they are taking them off the pegs, doing it at home then going to retailers and placing them back on there. Most retailers carry Visa cards so it’s easy to disperse them to all who carry them

The moral of this story is, give any Visa Gift Card you buy this holiday season a very good look before you purchase it at the register. I'm very confident that store employees where Visa Gift Cards are sold will be vigilantly looking for these altered cards, but it never hurts to be on the lookout too. Please don't go tearing open every Visa Gift Card you see at stores to make sure it's legit though, let's just leave that job for the store employees.

Catch Lil Zim on 'Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim and JB' 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook