Can you track a visa gift card?
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?
The answer to your question - can you track a visa gift card is -
A) Yes, they do keep track of purchases. Almost all prepaid gift cards require some form of registration where they collect different data about you: name, address, zip code, phone number, etc.
B) It will. The gift card becomes an account, and you can review your purchase history just like a regular credit card.
However, you can be a liar when you activate the card, and put in fake information. You can go to a store reasonably far away, or to a very busy store (my local pharmacy is always stuffed). You can also pay with cash, which means you don't have records from a credit card company to link your identity with. And, if you're smart with your purchases (don't attempt to order drugs to your house) they can't get any information from the merchant.
tl;dr: If you have cash, you avoid most of the tracking. If you lie to the company, it's very easy to dodge identification.