Hank Investigates: Disappearing Online Gift Card Balance

Looking for a way to stay active in the pandemic, Walter wanted to buy a stationary bike.

To help make it happen his kids gave him Amazon gift cards for different occasions. He uploaded each of them to his Amazon account.

“I was watching the cards accumulate until I got up to $375,” Walter says.

But one day Walter logged onto his account and his balance was ZERO!

“I thought it was a computer glitch,” Walter says.

He contacted Amazon and a representative emailed explaining his gift cards were “redeemed on another Amazon account” and that “we know for a fact” the cards have “not been redeemed by you.”

“I thought I was going to get my money back, Walter says.

But no– his balance stayed at zero!

“So, they essentially said, ‘We know where this went? But we’re not telling you? And too bad?’” Hank asked.

“Yup. Yeah, I was angry,” Walter says.

Amazon’s website is pretty clear, saying:

“We are not responsible…if your Amazon.com Balance or any Gift Card is used without your permission.”

That didn’t seem right. Walter put the money in but someone he didn’t know used it.

So, we called Amazon. And not only did the company restore Walter’s balance. They gave him an extra $100 for his troubles.

“I feel a lot better now. Channel seven is my hero,” Walter says.

Amazon would not tell us exactly how this happened to Walter but say they are investigating and if customers have an issue, they should contact them directly.

Amazon also has this advice for consumers to protect themselves against common schemes:

Any customer that receives a questionable email or call from a person impersonating an Amazon employee should report them to Amazon customer service. Amazon investigates these complaints and will take action if warranted.

You can report suspicious calls or emails from people impersonating Amazon employees to the email: stop-spoofing@amazon.com

Amazon security information: https://www.amazon.com/security

How to tell if an email or phone call is really from Amazon (and information about reporting fraud calls to FTC): https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201909120

Gift Card scams with tips (also includes email/phishing information):
https://www.amazon.com/giftcardscams/b?ie=UTF8&node=15435487011

Recent action was taken earlier this year against scammers:

https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-stops-multiple-fraudulent-affiliate-marketing-schemes

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