Visa Sued Over ‘Vanilla’ Present Card ‘Draining’ Scams


Bank card issuer Visa has been hit with a proposed class motion lawsuit after shoppers alleged that the corporate purposely marketed and bought reward playing cards vulnerable to thievery after which refused to refund prospects who have been scammed.

A client named Ira Schuman filed the grievance on Tuesday within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Southern District of New York after claiming he misplaced $4,000 when purchased eight $500 Visa Vanilla reward playing cards in 2022 and 2023 that have been a part of a “card draining” rip-off.

A “card draining” rip-off is when thieves take away the silver lining that covers the safety code from the again of reward playing cards, report the safety code, register the playing cards, after which put the cardboard again on the shelf with one other silver strip.

The grievance alleges that Visa knew that the reward playing cards have been vulnerable to this sort of theft and didn’t take acceptable safety measures to stop it from occurring.

Associated: Scammers Discovered a New Solution to Steal Cash From Your Present Playing cards This Vacation Season — This is What to Look For

“When a client purchases a Vanilla card, she or he selects a card at a retailer, then presents it to a cashier who hundreds the buyer’s desired quantity of funds onto the cardboard,” the lawsuit explains. “Thieves, nonetheless, can monitor the balances of the Visa Vanilla playing cards they beforehand accessed on Vanillagiftcard.com. When funds are loaded onto Visa Vanilla playing cards, thieves make transactions with the playing cards till the funds are depleted earlier than the buyer has had an opportunity to make use of them.”

The cardboard info and stability may be accessed on-line by anybody with the 16-digit quantity on the entrance of the cardboard, the expiration date, and the CVV quantity. As soon as a card has been depleted, it can’t be reloaded.

“Visa Vanilla playing cards don’t embody a registration course of that protects in opposition to fraudulent transactions. Sometimes, this ‘card draining’ happens even earlier than the cardboard purchaser has a possibility to make use of the cardboard or give the cardboard as a present,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants are conscious of this downside and have did not make essential enhancements to the security measures of Visa Vanilla playing cards to stop the recognized and widespread fraudulent conduct.”

The lawsuit didn’t specify how a lot the category motion is looking for in damages.

Visa didn’t instantly touch upon the pending allegations.

How you can Keep away from Card ‘Draining’ Scams

In December 2023, Goal warned prospects in opposition to reward card scams, telling prospects to not purchase, promote, or test the stability on a present card wherever that’s not on Goal’s web site.

Test the back and front of the cardboard and look to see if the silver strip seems to have been manipulated.

“Don’t buy a present card if it seems that the packaging has been altered or manipulated,” the retailer says. “When you have questions on a present card, ask a Goal staff member for help.”

Scroll to Top