Reminder: Don’t Buy Gift Cards From People Standing Outside Walmart

With just a few days remaining to finish your holiday shopping, you might feel compelled to buy a gift card and call it good. While that gifting idea might be suited for your needs, authorities are reminding consumers that you shouldn’t purchase the cards from a stranger standing outside a retailer — or a stranger walking around anywhere shilling gift cards, for that matter.
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KHOU-TV reports (Warning: video auto-plays) that local authorities are reminding consumers that the holiday season can be rife with scammer, including those selling worthless gift cards.

Such a holiday scam occurred outside a local Walmart in northwest Houston and cost two people nearly $1,600: Authorities say a man dressed like a Walmart employee has approached several shoppers asking that they buy gift cards from him.

The man allegedly tells the shoppers that he’s a college student and that while his parents purchased the cards for him, he really needs money for transportation instead.

Police officials say that while only two shoppers have been confirmed to have fallen for the same, they believe more people have been conned.

Just last month, Consumerist reported on the number of reasons why gift cards might not be the safest holiday gift to give. Among reasons to reconsider the gifting option is the fact that people just don’t want them and that the funds aren’t protected.

Man scamming holiday shoppers at Houston-area Walmart [KHOU-TV]