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Target gift card value stolen

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So I buy a lot of 2nd hand gift cards through sites like Raise.  For Target cards, I have 3 physical cards purchased by me that I always combine my new gift cards into.  This way I feel secure that I am the only one who has the gift card number and the access number and only I will be able to use the cards.

Today I discovered that 2 of my cards were in force closed status.  After calling Target I found out they were closed because they were combined into another mobile gift card account on Sunday September 20.  The service rep would not give me any more information because she said it couldn't have been done without the access number and that the access number is not stored on target's system for someone to access even if someone had gotten into my account.  Therefore it does not look suspicious to them and there is nothing Target will do for me.  But I have the physical gift cards and they were purchased new by me 8-10 months ago, so I am the only who could have the access number.

Also, my 3rd gift card still had its full value.  I had never used this card to purchase anything online, but I had combined other cards onto it.

My theory is that cards used at Target.com that maintain a balance after being used for a purchase are vulnerable.  These cards remain in your account so that you can easily apply them to future purchases.  The access number is entered the first time you use it, but never needed gain.  So I think somehow the thief was able to access this data, even though Target claimed it was not possible.  

If they had gotten my cards by hacking my mobile gift card account, the thief would have stolen all 3 cards.   In my Target.com account the only information from giftcard that shows is the final 4 digits and the balance.  It seems to me this means that the giftcard information came off of Target's system.  I filed a police report, as Target told me to do, and will continue to pursue a resolution with Target.

In the meantime, I will not hold on to Target gift cards.  If I'm ever left with a balance after making a purchase, I have a few virgin $5 cards I've gotten through promotions which I can combine that balance into.  

Just thought I'd share and see if anyone else has had a similar experience. I'm aware it is possible the fault lies with my own security practices, but the more I think about it, the less likely I think it is. 

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So I don't just sound paranoid like I think Target is out to get me? :) 

It could have been worse, but luckily I had just spent $450 of my gift cards a week before this all happened.  I was about to spend the rest tonight.  I'm doing the Target into Disney Gift Card trick to save money on a trip to Disney World in a few months.  Now I pretty much lost whatever savings I had accumulated, unless I am somehow made whole.

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I am pleased to report that after communicating with Target's executive offices, that Target has issued me a new gift card with the full value of what was stolen.  They conducted an investigation with the information I provided them, but did not inform me of what they found out.  But I'm happy that I'm not out any money.

They disabled my Target.com account and I had to create a new one.  I found that a bit odd, but no big deal. I still think the vulnerability came from using the gift cards on their website and having a remaining balance stored there.  From now on if I do not use the entire value for an online purchase, I will transfer any remaining balance to a previously unused card to hopefully prevent this from happening again.

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I am pleased to report that after communicating with Target's executive offices, that Target has issued me a new gift card with the full value of what was stolen.  They conducted an investigation with the information I provided them, but did not inform me of what they found out.  But I'm happy that I'm not out any money.

They disabled my Target.com account and I had to create a new one.  I found that a bit odd, but no big deal. I still think the vulnerability came from using the gift cards on their website and having a remaining balance stored there.  From now on if I do not use the entire value for an online purchase, I will transfer any remaining balance to a previously unused card to hopefully prevent this from happening again.

are you sure those cards were the one you had physical card? actually the cards you are claiming to be "virgin" are those the one with the scratch off pin code or just the one the target rep gave you @ the store during promotion (like $5 GC with $25 purchase etc) ? if they are the one given at the store on the card with the cashier then its probable that they might have been recycled.

only one that are safe are the one with the scratch off pin. you get those and hold on the mobile. they are the only one that has not given me trouble so far.

my experience has been 

a. Xfer immediately once purchased from 3rd party site if that is at all possible.

b. use the entire amount immediately i.e. as soon as you buy it. { other wise big risk of losing $$$ }

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One of the cards was a new card I had purchased and had a scratch off pin.  The other was one from a promotion.  So one might have been recycled, but not both.

like you, I always transfer my third party cards immediately after I get them.  And now I agree with your point b too.  I thought transferring them to a card that only I had ever possessed was enough.  But someone got to them somehow anyway.  my biggest lapse was probably in always using the same cards and just reloading them. The limited evidence I have on what happened points to the fact that it was gift cards I had used a few times online and maintained a balance on them by reloading them.  It's best to let a gift card "die" and replace with a new one, even if I have to go buy a new one to do it.

Edited by Jondog21

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first off target does have the access code in their system (assuming they process their own gc?), they lady at customer service might not have access but someone does.  Second yes if they were stored on your account there are a number of vulnerabilities.  given their "investigation" it is most likely a hack on your account from a foreign ip (china, russia, etc).  its also possible some one internally was stealing gc codes, could have just been a few choice opportunities.  either way there is always a risk with gift cards, since they do not carry the protections of standard credit cards. 

that being said raise is pretty good about supporting their customers when things go wrong, likely better than most retailers themselves.

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I signed up this account just to make this post. I had an almost identical experience as the OP. Target really should disable the mobile GC balance transfer if they can't stop the thieves. Their system is broken either because insiders did it or they are just technology challenged. I advice everyone not to leave any balance in their online accounts. Don't use GC online or use the full amount.  This happened to me twice (the second time was a password change test with small amount). It was no use, GC was still wiped clean. It is very unsafe. It is a shame that Target doesn't do anything about this. They are really responsible for the theft because we left the money with them thinking it is safe. I wonder why there is no class action law suits against Target.

Edited by blueking

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