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TikTok is the source of some information that consumers might want to know as we are currently in the midst of the holiday shopping season. TikTok user @tommyxlin recorded herself inside a Target store next to a rack of gift cards explaining how she and her husband got ripped off. The couple had purchased a $100 Apple gift card from Target and when they got home, they discovered that the access/redemption code had been whited-out rendering the gift card unusable.
So the couple returned to the same Target store where the card was purchased, figuring that they would surely be able to show how they were the victims of this crime and get a new gift card or a refund. Instead, Target told them that they could not issue a refund and suggested that they call customer service.

TikTok subscriber warns others not to buy $100 Apple gift cards at Target

In her video, @tommyxlin opens a couple of brand-new $100 Apple gift cards from the store and shows how the access/redemption code had been whited out on each one. The $25 gift card that she pulled off the rack was okay leading her to warn viewers against purchasing the $100 denomination Apple gift card specifically. It should also be noted that when @tommyxlin showed Target the whited out $100 cards that she recorded on video, the retailer refused to take them out of circulation.

@tommyxlin @target @apple #scam#careful♬ original sound – Tommy Lin


Unfortunately, this is the time of the year when gift card scams run rampant. And based on the comments generated by the video, this scam has many other victims. “I have got scammed by them too,” wrote TikTok user Jamilya Jones363. Someone with the handle user7297809481983 wrote, “Happened to me too,” and added that “when I tried to use the card online the money went straight into somebody else’s account they made a purchase as soon as I put in card number.”

A TikTok user named Maria said that this happened to her twice while user Kim Nguyen6237 was also scammed out of $100 after purchasing an Apple gift card. One person claiming to be a Target employee explained why @tommyxlin could not get a refund from the store.  “I work at target,” said the post, “and somebody actually came in today to complain about this but it goes against our store policy we can’t return gift cards.”

Several suggestions were made about what to do if this should happen to you. Some said that you should call your bank and file a fraud claim. Another person suggested using mineral spirits to dissolve the white-out. Others said that a call to Apple needs to be made. That is probably the best advice since the store’s customer service department will probably do nothing to help get a victim’s money returned to them.
@tommyxlin recorded a follow-up video which included a closer view of the tainted card and also showed that the white-out can not be scratched off. “Whatever they use is so strong, you cannot remove it,” she says.

There is a better way to purchase an Apple gift card

In a strange way, you could blame the mother of the late Mike Nesmith for this problem. Yes, the woman who brought the Monkees guitarist into the world was also the inventor of Liquid Paper, the original white-out for typists back in the pre-word processor and desktop computer days. While that might win you a buck or two during a trivia contest, let’s get back to this problem.

If you want to buy an Apple gift card for someone this holiday season, you can purchase an e-gift card from Amazon. This writer has done this in the past with no issues. Open the Amazon app, tap in Apple gift cards in the search field, and when you make the purchase, the recipient of your generosity will receive an email with all of the information required to activate the card. You can even choose the date when you want this email to arrive.

Not only does this prevent you from buying a gift card that has been tampered with, it is one less stop for Santa.

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