Can a stolen gift card be traced?

254    Asked by EmmaCornish in Cyber Security , Asked on Oct 18, 2022

 I was in a retail store today, and these people were discussing how easy it is for people to use stolen credit cards, and buy those visa gift cards without being traced after they purchase the gift cards.

I find this very hard to believe because

A) when you purchase a visa gift card they send the gift card number to the server to the company that owns those gift cards to have it activate it, and I am sure they log which store that happened at, too.

B) I am sure they can monitor that gift card and it will leave a paper trail just like a credit card.

Am I wrong?

Answered by Pippa Kelly

The answer to your question - Can a stolen gift card be traced is -

A) Personally, I have purchased several VISA gift cards. While no registration is required to activate the card itself, if you wish to purchase items online, you may need to register a ZIP code. You could enter your local ZIP or even a ZIP from across the country, as long as it lines up with the billing information you give the online merchant (the one the transaction will go through provided there are funds).

B) Every transaction made with the card is tracked and reviewable through Go Wallet or vanilla VISA, but the paper trail is null because there is no name or contact information linked to the card.

The conversation you overheard could also be related to the purchasing of gift cards online with already stolen card data, in which case it would be much more difficult for law enforcement agencies to track the criminal.

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