3 On Your Side

Gift card fraud runs rampant

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV) (Source: 3TV)

A Valley couple were excited to put a Home Depot gift card to good use, but they say their gift card somehow lost a lot of money.

Taylor Beck and her boyfriend recently moved into their very first house and they've been busy with home improvements.

"Right now the front yard, all the rock is all torn up so we're going to put in a little bit of grass and some fresh rock and some plants to make it more colorful and not so boring," Beck said.

To help with the project, Beck's dad gave them a $500 Home Depot gift card.

Beck said she and her boyfriend made a few different purchases with the card until the balance was down to around $260. But when she tried to use it again recently, that $260 was gone.

"At first, I was like, 'That's impossible, try it again,'" Beck explained. "She tried it again and again."

So, how did a gift card balance with $260 disappear?

According to Beck, management at the Home Depot store looked into it and discovered the card had been duplicated and used along with other cards.

"They were actually able to pull up the transaction from when the card was last used and it was used at a completely different store with five other gift cards to purchase over $1,000 worth of stuff," Beck said.

She said Home Depot also pulled security video from when her card was used.

"We finally got the loss and prevention of the store in Phoenix to check the video footage and it was not us in the video and the guy even said, 'Yeah, this transaction doesn't look right at all," Beck said.

Regardless, she said Home Depot wasn't willing to help with her missing $260.

"It sucks! It's defeating!" Beck said. "It’s not a lot of money to some people, it was a little less than $300, but for a young couple like us that just got our first house and we have a torn-up front yard waiting to buy plastic because we're waiting to get paid because we don't have a $300 Home Depot gift card anymore."

3 On Your Side got involved and Home Depot's corporate office looked into the matter.

They acknowledged this type of fraud has happened in the past, but wouldn't discuss details. However, at our request, Home Depot says it is mailing Beck a new gift card that will contain $260.

Beck said she couldn't have done it without 3 On Your Side and can't wait to put the money to use.

"It means getting our front yard looking like a front yard instead of a big dirt lot, making our home look like a home and not just an empty room," she said.

Home Depot tells 3 On Your side they are aware of this growing gift card problem and say it's a major issue with a lot of retailers. Home Depot says they're working to find a solution. This is what Home Depot told us in a written statement:

"For security reasons, we can’t discuss the details of what occurred. However, we’re glad we could replace the Beck’s gift card. Anyone who experiences a gift card problem should call 1-800-HOMEDEPOT."

Copyright 2017 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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