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  #1  
Old 01-13-2010, 06:29 PM
TYL3R13 TYL3R13 is offline
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Default Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

So i was looking at the vast array of gift cards and such, and wondered started thinking... since the all say "this product has no value until activated at the register" how could we self activate them? what is it exactly that causes them to activate? do they just have to be swiped over the scanner at the register? could you somehow build your own little device to self activate them?
if someone could crack the secret on these little guys, we could all make HUGE profits.
any idea???

so far the only thing i have come up with is this:
grab a bunch of them at your local walmart (or any store with i self checkout) scan a bunch of itunes cards or gamestop cards and any other useful ones you find, and then just cancel the sale or whatever, and leave with your newly activated cards.
is this possible?
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2010, 07:19 PM
Ina Ina is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Are you aware of the definition of cancel? Pretty sure it will mean the transaction won't go through, and your card won't get activated.

Also there were at least two other threads exactly like this.
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2010, 07:26 PM
dartdart626 dartdart626 is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

yeah, doesnt work. it used to with the three packs of itunes gift cards, but i looked yesterday and they changed it
so it probly doesnt work now. but dont try it, its easier to steal from game stop/crazy or wherever else.
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2010, 07:44 PM
FireStarter FireStarter is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

The card itself is just a card. It has a number encoded on a magnetic strip. It on its own means nothing.

Activation simply means that the number assigned to that card is marked as usable and paid for in the register, and that information is networked to whoever's system the card is meant to work with.

For example, if you get an iTunes card and purchase it, the register takes the number of the card, and lets iTunes know that the card is able to be used, otherwise the number won't work.

If you want to steal gift cards, you'd have to get on a register and activate them. The cashier's float would be short however much the cards were worth though, and they'd catch hell... Don't commit crimes that fuck the working man.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:33 PM
Ravan Ravan is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Don't worry, Firestarter. He'll be banned.

Anyway, Firestarter's precisely right.

There is a method of stealing iTunes cards. They don't have their barcode with a scratcher thing over it, so what you do is write down the barcodes, wait until someone buys the card (happens quickly), and use their card. Just keep checking the number on the 1-800 number. But who the fuck cares about iTunes?

Either way, the best way to do it is wait for someone to buy a card and steal their money they put on it by using it online.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2010, 09:15 PM
ShadyLady ShadyLady is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by TYL3R13 View Post
how could we self activate them?
Is it possible?
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2010, 10:46 PM
Corey Corey is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Ina, are you aware of the definition of cancel? Are you aware, when you try to sound smart and 100% correct when proving someone wrong, following it with "pretty sure" makes you look like a tool.

Also being incorrect makes you look like even more of a tool
http://www.zoklet.net/bbs/search.php?searchid=2236835

What could he of done? searched and found nothing. Let the mods (who are obviously okay with this thread) do their job, you stick to attempting to be a smartass

OP, you should jailbreak your device, google "limerain jailbreak" it's simple.

You go to cydia, sources, then add "cydia.hackolus.us" not sure if thats the right spelling and it gives you a new apple store basically. It has all the apps categorized like apple, but instead of going through the annoying ass log in, you go to file hosting sites and install the app.

If you are able to get free iTunes gift cards i'd load that bitch up with movies.
Sounds like Ravans got it covered, but there is talk of buying a prepaid visa card and registering it online with fake details, then just DL everything before you're blocked. Which would happen either instantly (you can look it up on your account after registering where the funds have gone) or in a few days. Obviously, if they're verified nstantly they wouldn't work for scamming.
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2010, 01:10 PM
ShadyLady ShadyLady is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

So, with a regular gift card, say a $100 Visa gc or a $100 Best Buy gc, say someone put a small mark on the card, went to the register & went about it like it's a normal transaction, the cashier swiped the card & then the person realized they are say $5 short in cash so they left w/o buying the card. Then the card gets put back on the gift card display & the person comes back another time to lift it. Would this work? Or are the cards only truly activated if they are paid for?
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2010, 06:23 PM
Ravan Ravan is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadyLady View Post
Or are the cards only truly activated if they are paid for?
Surely they are... I mean, you would think someone would have figured that out and we would have heard about this scam if it DID work.
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2010, 08:44 PM
ShadyLady ShadyLady is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravan View Post
Surely they are... I mean, you would think someone would have figured that out and we would have heard about this scam if it DID work.
Or other people could just be assuming the card isn't activated until it is paid for. If someone was successfully doing it, I doubt they would post it on a forum b/c the word would get out to stores. The best scams are truly a secret.
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2010, 09:16 PM
gusboy gusboy is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadyLady View Post
So, with a regular gift card, say a $100 Visa gc or a $100 Best Buy gc, say someone put a small mark on the card, went to the register & went about it like it's a normal transaction, the cashier swiped the card & then the person realized they are say $5 short in cash so they left w/o buying the card. Then the card gets put back on the gift card display & the person comes back another time to lift it. Would this work? Or are the cards only truly activated if they are paid for?
I'm not sure about this...I'd like to say they were not activated until paid for BUT when one of my buddies was using the xbox live coupons, the cashiers would swipe the xbox card to activate it and when they saw the coupon and decided they wouldn't take it, they always swiped the xbox card again..not just scanning the barcode, but actually swiping the mag stripe a second time.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2010, 09:19 PM
ShadyLady ShadyLady is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

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Originally Posted by gusboy View Post
I'm not sure about this...I'd like to say they were not activated until paid for BUT when one of my buddies was using the xbox live coupons, the cashiers would swipe the xbox card to activate it and when they saw the coupon and decided they wouldn't take it, they always swiped the xbox card again..not just scanning the barcode, but actually swiping the mag stripe a second time.
So, they can deactivate the card after activating it if the customer doesn't continue the transaction? It would great if someone who works at a retail store could clear this up.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2010, 10:12 PM
leviathan leviathan is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

i used to deal with gift cards while working at a pizza joint here in town. might not be the same stuff going on as with what you're looking for, but i'll throw out my experiences.

we would have to swipe the card, then punch through a pass-code to activate. after you did that, it asked for "activation amount" and you entered the amount the customer desired to have on the gift card. press enter, and the card was activated and loaded. if a customer stopped we just entered "0" for the amount and trashed the card.

no one ever let me get through the whole process of loading the card before saying nevermind, but unless the boss was around (i was an asst. manager), i probably woulda just cut the card up and not charged the customer.

of course, those cards had variable amounts and weren't set to $25, $50, or whatever. but nonetheless, i reckon the employee would just trash the card if you changed your mind and wouldn't return it to the shelf. they're just cheap plastic cards, won't cost a dime to make.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2010, 02:29 AM
ShadyLady ShadyLady is offline
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Exclamation Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Does anyone know EXACTLY how the gift card is activated in a typical retail store? Is swiping it all that is necessary? Does the cashier have to hit any keys after swiping it? Is it only activated after it is paid for? If a swipe was the only thing needed to activate, couldn't one activate the cards on a MSR? Probably not b/c carders using gift cards to write dumps on would have figured it out but it's worth asking.

If no one can clarify, I'm going to go to a store & purchase a Visa gift card & act dumb, asking the cashier how they activate the card & what not so we can figure this shit out.

An idea would be to get a job using fake info at a retail store that doesn't have the cameras actively monitored. Then activating a fuckload of the cards & using them later that day before the store manger at the place of employment could figure it out. Then obviously never show up there for a long ass time. You would have to use a disguise & find a way to hide your fingerprints but if you activated only 10-$100 Visa giftcards, that is $1K worth of spending money for very little time invested.
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2010, 02:55 AM
Ravan Ravan is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

I think it'd be the ultimate money maker to figure out a good way of activating gift cards without paying for them. Worth serious investigation indeed!

Perhaps a good route of investigation is the one of returning giftcards. I wonder supermarkets and the like that sell gift cards have a return policy if you have the receipt.

Either way, I want to learn everything about how the system works just as ShadyLady does. Can't we please get an employee of a retail store in here?
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  #16  
Old 12-13-2010, 03:08 AM
Corey Corey is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Getting a job with fake credentials would be awesome for so many ways, activating visa cards would be one of the best ideas i've ever heard you could also clean out safe, steal tobacco, lighters, lottery tickets, alcohol, energy drinks, frozen food

I know when they register them, it sets up a mini account with giftcardmail.com/visagift the first deposit was "ACTIVATE 3413135" whatever, i'll edit this when i get the card and log in.
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2010, 06:24 PM
ShadyLady ShadyLady is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Temporarily sticking this so this thread is more viewable & we can figure this stuff out.
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2010, 06:29 PM
King of the world King of the world is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

A gift card scam which still works was posted on zoklet within the first 2 months everyone came from totse. No, I'm not linking to it, find it yourselves.

It's not exactly self-activation, but it is a clever scam.
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  #19  
Old 12-14-2010, 03:12 PM
ShadyLady ShadyLady is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Negrophobe View Post
A gift card scam which still works was posted on zoklet within the first 2 months everyone came from totse. No, I'm not linking to it, find it yourselves.

It's not exactly self-activation, but it is a clever scam.
Yeah, that one is a well known scam. I'm really only interested in self activating the cards.
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  #20  
Old 12-16-2010, 12:50 AM
mgg123456789 mgg123456789 is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

I worked at Wal-Mart as a cashier for a few months. We had to scan cards and press a few keys to activate them. For cards with variable amounts, we also had to enter the amount. It takes maybe a minute if you have no idea what your doing, and 15 seconds max if you do.
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  #21  
Old 12-16-2010, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadyLady View Post
Does anyone know EXACTLY how the gift card is activated in a typical retail store? Is swiping it all that is necessary? Does the cashier have to hit any keys after swiping it? Is it only activated after it is paid for? If a swipe was the only thing needed to activate, couldn't one activate the cards on a MSR? Probably not b/c carders using gift cards to write dumps on would have figured it out but it's worth asking.

If no one can clarify, I'm going to go to a store & purchase a Visa gift card & act dumb, asking the cashier how they activate the card & what not so we can figure this shit out.

An idea would be to get a job using fake info at a retail store that doesn't have the cameras actively monitored. Then activating a fuckload of the cards & using them later that day before the store manger at the place of employment could figure it out. Then obviously never show up there for a long ass time. You would have to use a disguise & find a way to hide your fingerprints but if you activated only 10-$100 Visa giftcards, that is $1K worth of spending money for very little time invested.
I will give you a grand to do this provided you send video proof that you acquired the job and activated 10 cards without paying. So you would be getting a grand from the cards, and a grand from me.

This offer expires in 30 days, so get filling on those applications
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  #22  
Old 12-17-2010, 03:35 AM
Roxi39 Roxi39 is offline
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Default Re: gift cards/prepaid cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by SentroKing View Post
I will give you a grand to do this provided you send video proof that you acquired the job and activated 10 cards without paying. So you would be getting a grand from the cards, and a grand from me.

This offer expires in 30 days, so get filling on those applications


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  #23  
Old 12-17-2010, 09:08 AM
Ravan Ravan is offline
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

The above post is incredibly useful to this thread. ^

Also, my mom works at Safeway, I'm going to ask her how card activation works there tomorrow. Tune in for details!
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:42 PM
Corey Corey is offline
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

This threads really gotten somewhere guys!!!

Good job stickying it and not contributing mods!!
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  #25  
Old 12-19-2010, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

I have worked retail and have had multiple gift card systems explained to me many times. This is what I have come to understand:

Each gift card scanned has a unique barcode / code embedded into the magnetic strip. By itself this code is meaningless.

Money is not loaded onto the card, merely a balance is attributed to the gift cards signature, and this association is loaded into the stores networked system.

Gift cards are like eftpos cards. No money exists on the card, it just has a data code on it that will give you access to digital money.
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  #26  
Old 12-19-2010, 07:40 PM
justb2 justb2 is offline
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

I actually have experience with the entire supply chain of POSA (point of sale activation) cards, and curmudgeon has the closest description to reality.

Here is the breakdown:

There is a retailer, a provider, a supplier (also called the processor) and, of course, a customer.

The retailer is the company selling the physical card, the provider is the company that the card is being sold for and the supplier acts as a liaison between the two.

So it goes down like this:

The provider contracts out a processor. Now there are many providers but only a few major processors. eg InComm. The processor then has the cards made and delivered to the retailer. Note that the process of making and delivering the physical cards is almost always outsourced to a separate company.

So, customer walks into a store and asks to buy a gift card. The retailer then swipes the card into some type of online system. This system will vary from retailer to retailer however, the purpose is always the same. The information stored on the card (namely the track 2 data) is compiled with a request for activation that is sent to the processor.
The processor is a company that accepts these requests and validates them based on 2 main criteria: #1 - the data on the card swiped must match one of the entries in their database. This is basically a check to see if the card is, in fact, one of the processor's cards. And #2 - has this card been activated before.
Just to note, this is an automatic process. These authorizations are simply the response of a programed validation system.
Once validated, an electronic response is sent both to the retailer and the provider. This card is now listed as "active" in the provider's POS server and a balance is assigned to it. Every time a transaction is conducted with the card, the balance is adjusted on the server accordingly.

The only scenario that I'm aware of in which this process changes in when the provider and retailer and the same company. ie. you are buying a walmart gift card at walmart. In this scenario, the retailer generally has their own validation algorithm.

So the easiest method of ripping this system off would seem to be going into busy stores like walmart with a mini reader and swiping the first bunch of gift cards of your choice and then putting them back at the front of the rack. Then you wait for someone to purchase them and then you will have an active dump for a card with X value. This would work particularly well around Xmas because people give these things as gifts, meaning they will be activated for at least a few days without being used. In a situation where the purchaser is using the card, you're basically racing them after activation: who can spend the money faster?

So a more difficult but ultimately much more successful method would be this: install a packet sniffer on one of the POS computers that these cards are activated on. Have a card activated at that terminal (legitimately) and observe what packets are sent to the processor. You might have to do this a few times to get the exact group of packets sent. I'm pretty sure that the packets are sent unencrypted. If they were encrypted, this method would require thousands of activations to break it, so we're just gonna assume that they are unencrypted. Once you have the packets required for activation, you will have to analyze them to find out exactly where the card data is located in the packets sent. Once you have this information, simply hop on the retailer's network, grab a bunch of cards and modify the packets to suit each card. If done correctly, you should get the activation response back from the processor and the card should be activated! Obviously this would be quite the operation and would be exponentially easier if you worked for the retailer.

Anyways, good luck people

Last edited by justb2; 12-19-2010 at 07:42 PM.
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  #27  
Old 12-19-2010, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

justb2- another plausible job to infultrate the retailer would be their tech support staff. The people that come out to the retailer to assist in the issues with their computers. With that sinereo, you have administrative privelages to install the sniffer and get a first hand experience on the activation system.

Target had a seperate NT server in the 90's that was from the issuers( visa, mc,amex, disc). I was in the room once and asked a TECH as he laughed and said 'we own 1 of these monsters, the rest are...' and i walked through 10 different racks, security company, pbx, etc...

If your social engineering skills are up to par, you could walk in there with your 'gear' and be ready to rock n roll! a copy of ntpasswordreset and a thumb drive. Your computer skills would have to be sharp, no joe smow will be able to get this done.

Acouple years ago there was an article in the paper about a guy that was caught phishing on the HOME DEPOT wireless network. I cant find the article, if someone does, post it!
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  #28  
Old 12-24-2010, 01:49 AM
Ravan Ravan is offline
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

I just came up with a scam and need some opinions. It'd probably work on cards where they swipe it to activate it (no barcode on the actual card that they run over a scanner)

Let's say you steal 2 of the same gift card. Both unactivated. Both have their own pin numbers and their own information on the magstrip (card number, type, etc). You take the 1st card and read its magstrip data and scratch the pin-number part to reveal the pin number. You replace the 2nd card's magstrip data with the 1st one's info. So now the 2nd card is a clone of the 1st, but with the wrong pin number on the actual card (it'd only work with the 1st's pin). Do not scratch off the pin-area for the 2nd card. It should look as it does in stores. Now you go back to the store and put the 2nd card back on the shelves.

When activated, it'll activate the 1st card technically, which both you and the person who bought it essentially have, but it's YOU who is the one that has the correct pin number and the actual card.

This wouldn't work if they scan the card like you would scan anything with a barcode at a grocery store, since some of the cards have that barcode that contains the card number. Maybe we'll have to learn how to make our own barcodes for it and put a little sticker over it with ours and hope they don't notice?
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  #29  
Old 12-24-2010, 09:41 AM
spiralds v2 spiralds v2 is offline
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

Something you could do is steal the gift cards and sell them to people on Craig’s List. It's not something you could do a lot but every once in awhile would work.
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:10 AM
Ravan Ravan is offline
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

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Originally Posted by spiralds v2 View Post
Something you could do is steal the gift cards and sell them to people on Craig’s List. It's not something you could do a lot but every once in awhile would work.
No, you can't.... read the thread. Do you seriously think gift cards work if you just steal them? or are you just not explaining what you mean at all?
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

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Originally Posted by Ravan View Post
No, you can't.... read the thread. Do you seriously think gift cards work if you just steal them? or are you just not explaining what you mean at all?
That's the point. They won't work but it won't be your problem as the buyer has already left with their gift card they got at 20% off because you don't shop at the store.
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:02 AM
Ravan Ravan is offline
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

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Originally Posted by spiralds v2 View Post
That's the point. They won't work but it won't be your problem as the buyer has already left with their gift card they got at 20% off because you don't shop at the store.
Oh, but not many people would fall for that. Most people would need some proof of the money on the card. By most, I think, more than 90%...
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  #33  
Old 12-24-2010, 01:50 PM
spiralds v2 spiralds v2 is offline
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

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Originally Posted by Ravan View Post
Oh, but not many people would fall for that. Most people would need some proof of the money on the card. By most, I think, more than 90%...
Yes, but at the same time there is that 10% that could be easily exploited.
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  #34  
Old 12-24-2010, 02:13 PM
Corey Corey is offline
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

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Yes, but at the same time there is that 10% that could be easily exploited.
\

Then the 90% willing to call the cops / kick your ass.
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  #35  
Old 12-25-2010, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

is a magstripe worth investing in?
anyone know how easy it is to get caught with this?
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  #36  
Old 12-25-2010, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

realized that last question sounded weird, basically, do people get easily caught with this kind of a thing?

seems like worth the risk, but just wondering How some of these people have gotten caught. because then that would give us a better idea on what to avoid doing.
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome View Post
is a magstripe worth investing in?
anyone know how easy it is to get caught with this?
I assume a magstripe reader is what your refering to? they're not illegal! its how you use the tech thats can be compromising. I recommend getting a 3 track handheld reader, 3 track desktop reader, and a 3 track HICO/LOCO desktop writer. tyner has great deals fyi
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

Yes, my thoughts are to get a magstripe read/writer and steal several giftcards, choosing one to be my own card... then virtually all I'd do is take the rest of the cards and replace their magestripe data with my first card's data... so now I have 2-3 of the same card. Then you go back to the store and put them back up on display. In a short while, someone is bound to have bought one and now you have an active card. (and so do they, so spend quickly That's the scam idea I came up with to do last night.
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

or how about geting the cards, reading the data, ccv2, and if you really want to do it right, get some void scratch stickers to replace the ones on the cards to get their pins
http://www.easyscratchoffs.com/sampl...-stickers.html http://www.sunsmilecard.com/products...subcatalog=676

Last edited by skygear; 12-25-2010 at 10:16 AM.
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  #40  
Old 12-25-2010, 10:19 AM
spiralds v2 spiralds v2 is offline
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Default Re: Self activating gift cards/prepaid cards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey View Post
\

Then the 90% willing to call the cops / kick your ass.
Obviously. That's the risk associated with almost all crimes.
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