Montrealer scammed out of $550 gift-card issues a warning

One Montreal woman is issuing a warning after she was defrauded out of hundreds of dollars in gift-cards.

Samantha Vandzura's boss gave her $550 worth of Walmart gift cards to buy baby supplies after she gave birth to a baby boy.

When she tried to use the gift-card at Walmart, it was denied.

She told CTV Montreal, "When I went to swipe the cards, there was nothing left on them."

The company informed her that the card had been used at two Ontario stores. She had been in Florida on vacation at the time.

She spoke with Walmart," they told me there was nothing they can do and that Walmart's policy is not to issue any refunds [and] that the best they can do is give me a phone to call to reach the gift card department at Walmart and print me out this receipt."

It seems that fraudsters will approach a gift card, remove the security strip on the back of the card, write the number down, and then use a replacement strip bought online to cover the code and make it look untouched.

Once the card is purchased, they get notified and spend the money immediately.

The RCMP says it is aware and does investigate these types of cases.

But cyber-security expert Steve Waterhouse says there's countless cases like these and police may not spend too much time investigating them.

"The magic number for me - I was told once was by police services - was $5000 dollars," He told CTV Montreal. "Below that it's just background noise, because there's so much of them happening."

After contacting the media, Walmart issued Vandzura a refund.

With files from CTV Montreal.