Call for Action Alert: Watch for gift card scam when shopping this holiday season

Police warn about gift card scam this holiday season.
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) -- The holiday season is here and a lot of us like to give out gift cards this time of year. Before you purchase a gift card, make sure to listen to this warning from police.

KKTV's Katie Pelton explains how crooks are stealing the joy out of gift giving in this call for action alert.

Tis' the season for crooks to hit our pockets. Police are warning about a new gift card scheme.Here's how it works, the bad guys are stealing gift cards from stores and cutting off the bar code on the back. Then they place the stolen bar code on a new gift card.

"So when you as a consumer go and load that card with money, you're actually loading their activated gift card," said CSPD Detective Brian Corrado. "They're managing those gift cards online or through an application, like a mobile app, and they'll get an alert when that gift card has been activated and money has been loaded onto it."

The crooks are able to wipe the money immediately, before you can give that gift card as a gift. Police told us they have a half dozen suspects. They don't know how many of the bogus cards are out there. But there's something you can do to outsmart them.

"There will be a peel back where the bar code would be, and you can see where it's already probably been peeled back a little bit, and if you feel the depth of the thickness of the card, the thickness of the card will be a little bit different where that bar code's been asserted over the original gift card," said Detective Corrado.

Always keep your receipt when you activate a gift card. That way if something is wrong, you can report it to the store where you bought it or to the company that issued the card. If you find one of the bad cards, report it to police.

If you're wondering if you're dealing with a scam, give our 11 Call for Action volunteers a call at 719-457-8211.