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#1
Old 01-26-2008, 11:51 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sweet Home Colorado
Posts: 287
ITunes gift cards... what if they're stolen?

At the mall today, I saw a stack of ITunes gift cards and it brought a question to my mind.....

Since you have to scratch off the back to get the access number to use the card, what if they get stolen? Will the numbers still work or is there some way that the card gets registered with Apple in order to work?

It just seems a huge risk for stores to have a bunch of cards laying out.
#2
Old 01-27-2008, 12:13 AM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 26,539
I'd imagine, like any other gift card, they're compleatly worthless until activated at the register.

Oh, and I finally figured out why the scratch off thing is on the card. Without it, I could write down the gift card number, put the card back on the rack and when someone buys it, I could use it online before they get a chance to use it. For me to do this now, I would need the scratch off number as well, and the card specifically says not to purchase it if it's already scratched. I would assume the cash register person is supposed to make sure it's unscratched.

Last edited by Joey P; 01-27-2008 at 12:16 AM.
#3
Old 01-27-2008, 07:02 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Southern ontario
Posts: 6,566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
I'd imagine, like any other gift card, they're compleatly worthless until activated at the register.

Oh, and I finally figured out why the scratch off thing is on the card. Without it, I could write down the gift card number, put the card back on the rack and when someone buys it, I could use it online before they get a chance to use it. For me to do this now, I would need the scratch off number as well, and the card specifically says not to purchase it if it's already scratched. I would assume the cash register person is supposed to make sure it's unscratched.
Right.

Which means, when you logically follow it through, that the store registers must be hooked up to some sort of digital network that connects with every other company that they sell gift cards for. When you activate that gift card, it sends a signal over to itunes saying 'yeah, somebody just put thirty bucks on card number 4453388729374', and the itunes master database remembers that when you scratch off the number and punch it in.

What an age we live lin.
#4
Old 01-27-2008, 07:22 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Great Britain
Posts: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
Oh, and I finally figured out why the scratch off thing is on the card. Without it, I could write down the gift card number, put the card back on the rack and when someone buys it, I could use it online before they get a chance to use it.
Thats exactly why! When these first came out they weren't worth stealing because they weren't activated, so enterprising scumbags decided to note down all the numbers and either watch and wait for them to be authorised, or just retry using the code every so often. So between your old granny posting an iTunes voucher, and you receiving it, some evil-doer has just bought the latest Billy Joel compilation! Erk.

tim
#5
Old 01-27-2008, 08:31 AM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Decatur, Illinois, USA
Posts: 14,041
My cash register at Walgreens is comprised of an actual hard drive under the counter, which is networked to the store's computer, which itself is also a hard drive in a closet in the office. And all these hard drives are connected to the outside world via a modem, which takes my card swipe when you buy your iTunes card and activates it.

BTW, people still steal the cards. Even though they're totally worthless until swiped. Go figure.
#6
Old 01-27-2008, 09:16 AM
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Location: Southern ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Duck Goose
BTW, people still steal the cards. Even though they're totally worthless until swiped. Go figure.
Maybe those people think that if they 'swipe' (ie steal) them themselves, they won't be worthless.

#7
Old 01-27-2008, 09:39 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 20,327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Duck Goose
Go figure.
Possibly constructing themselves a swingin mini-dress using only iTunes cards, a hole punch, and shiny metal grommets.
#8
Old 01-27-2008, 10:03 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,179
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk
Maybe those people think that if they 'swipe' (ie steal) them themselves, they won't be worthless.

It is possible that the thieves are planning to sell the cards on eBay or Craigslist while lying about the card's validity.
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