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Not comfortable with giftcards


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Hello. I hope I am posting this in the right section.

Right now I do not feel comfortable at all using a certain kind of giftcard. I mean the kind that, when the item you'd like to buy is more expensiver than the balance of the card it will ask to deduct the difference from your own L$ balance. And it's asking that question that gets me so worried because it does so in the following way:

 

I just can't get past this warning. The way it is worded suggests I open a security hole the size of Texas to my money. I have the idea somebody else will now be able to access my funds forever, or until the grid shuts down.

Is there anybody else who feels really uncomfortable with this? Or am I being (too) paranoid?

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To be clear before I start: I have no knowledge of the merchant shown in your screenshot, nor the script they're using to generate these "giftcards" - I speak only from personal experience, and my general shopping habits with all merchants. (You could remove the name from your screenshot since this may put you on sticky ground here.)

I wouldn't use any giftcard system that required Debit Permissions, in the way shown on your screenshot. It is far too risky for just a one-time, couple-of-hundred-L$ transaction. The giftcard would be immensely easy to 'fake', and then drain L$ accounts if repurposed by a nasty person. There is no way to revoke permissions once granted.

In my opinion encouraging casual shoppers to accept Debit Permissions for this purpose is incredibly poor practice, it teaches people to see this permission as 'low risk' and 'beneficial only' - in truth, it's neither.

I think it's smart to have raised this issue, but perhaps a post in the Merchants forum (again, probably with a redacted screenshot) would help you reach a more targetted audience.

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Agree with the others that it's bad practice on the part of the merchant if it is legit and concerned that it's a pretty dreadful scam if it isn't. There's something different about the language used vs something like an affiliate vendor which takes a commission on the sale. Those are tied to the sales vendor. This seems wide open, rather than being tied to an object like a top-up kiosk.

Where did you get the card? From the store or from a random person?

You might be able to find something out by seeing who the creator of the card and the last owner are. (Some TPVs show last owner; don't know about the official SL one.) If last owner is different from the store owner, contact her immediately to let her know someone is passing out fake gift cards to the store. (Or his, English grammar is a pain. :matte-motes-smile: )

If it is a fake, you can both AR the last owner.

Hopefully, it's just a store owner who thought it would be helpful and didn't think it all the way through, but this makes me more than wary.

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Thank you for the replies, everybody. Just to be sure I edited the pic to blank out the name.

For those wondering if the card is legitimate: I am 100% sure it is. The store its from is, as far as I know, quite well-known and genuine. The giftcard is definitely from there as I used it to buy something of them (it won't ask for access to your funds if  the item you want to buy is cheaper than the balance on the card). I have also seen the same giftcard system at a different store. I wouldn't be surprised if other stores use it at well; in fact my guess is you can buy this system for your own store at a script merchant.

But even if I trust the store, I don't trust this giftcard system. That warning sets off too many alarm bells. At least I now know I am not being overly paranoid, which was my biggest concern.

I am not sure what good a post would do in the Merchant section, though...

EDIT: I checked in-world and it's a Casper Vend system.

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Thanks! The edit means the post will last longer without being removed. Definitely good to make sure people can find this thread.

In order to test legitimacy, you'd have to ensure the previous owner (right click in Inventory > Properties) was the name of the user who owns that store.

Only reason I suggested the Merchants forum is because many don't wander into the drama of General Discussion. Especially with merchants, who may just want the latest info on Marketplace performance. Just a thought seeing as you weren't sure this was the right place.

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Azura Lowbeam wrote:

Thank you for the replies, everybody. Just to be sure I edited the pic to blank out the name.

A bit too late since othes already have mentioned it in their replies. ;)

But this is a very reputable store and seller and I wouldn't hesitate for a second to trust her. So if you are sure the card is genuine, go ahead.

 


Azura Lowbeam wrote:

But even if I trust the store, I don't trust this giftcard system.

Me neither and I find it very strange that anybody uses a system like this. All gift cards I've seen work in conjunction with a vendor so if there is a price difference to cover, you pay the vendor the regular way.

That being said:


Azura Lowbeam wrote:

The way it is worded suggests I open a security hole the size of Texas to my money. I have the idea somebody else will now be able to access my funds forever, or until the grid shuts down.

It's not as bad as that. No matter what the card does, it can only do it while it's rezzed or worn. It can't do anything while it's in your inventory and any permissions you grant is to that specific object and cancelled the moment you delete it.

 

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Not to defend this system, but CasperVend is a very popular vending system for  merchants that has benefits that  many other vending systems don't.  I doubt that your post is going to sway many merchants to abandon it and switch to another system because of these benefits and the cost factor of doing so.  A complete vending system like this is not cheap. relatively speaking.

The message you received about debiting your account was a standard message that the LSL system sends anytime your account is to be debited by an object.  As pointed out, your account can't be debited after the card is I have used Caspervend gift cards with no problem.

An alternative would be to ask the merchant to send the item you want in return for a direct payment to them of the difference along with sending the card to them.  I believe most merchants would be willing to do that.

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Did you receive the gift card directly from the designer?  As far as I know, NO reputable stores use a gift card that makes you grant them debit permissions. But a great many scammers go to very nice stores and offer "gift cards." This is why so many stores have had to do pop ups when you enter telling you not to accept any gift cards from anyone at the store. 

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

Not to defend this system, but CasperVend is a very popular vending system for  merchants that has benefits that  many other vending systems don't.  I doubt that your post is going to sway many merchants to abandon it and switch to another system because of these benefits and the cost factor of doing so.  A complete vending system like this is not cheap. relatively speaking.


I realize that, which is why I wondered if posting in the Merchant forum would make much of a difference.

The main reason I made this topic is because I wondered if it was odd to be alarmed by such a pop-up.

 


Alicia Chenaux wrote:

Did you receive the gift card directly from the designer?  As far as I know, NO reputable stores use a gift card that makes you grant them debit permissions. But a great many scammers go to very nice stores and offer "gift cards." This is why so many stores have had to do pop ups when you enter telling you not to accept any gift cards from anyone at the store. 

It's a CasperVend system. It's not that widespread (yet) but it is legitimate.

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OK...just double checked with the Caspervend group. Trye Caspervend gift cards will NOT ask for debit permissions. What you have there is one of the many spoofed and fake gift cards that are being given out with the name of a reputable creator on them. It's a plague going around SL right now. There are many stores that have messages when you land not to accept gift cards from people as the store doesn't give out gift cards like that. 

Delete it as it's a scam to get your Lindens.

Edited to add, you may get a message like that if you try to purchase something and you don't have a high enough balance to cover the purchase. In that case, I, personally, would go to the top off terminal that should be in the store and add the lindens to cover the purtchase there then go and purchase the item.

 

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I know this may sound odd coming from the person who made a topic on how she doesn't trust the system but it is legitimate.

The card I used of Store A was able to buy items from store A as long as the value of the items was below the balance of the giftcard. The card itself showed as creator Casper Warden and in it is a script made by Casper Warden.

Store B issues giftcards also with creator Casper Warden and in it a script made by Casper Warden. With this too I can get items from Store B if they are cheaper than the balance of the card.

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Azura Lowbeam wrote:

I know this may sound odd coming from the person who made a topic on how she doesn't trust the system but it is legitimate.

Yes, so it seems. I discussed it with Bobbie and Pixieplumb at the CasperTech group and they missed the point that you got this message after you had tried to use the card and as Bobbie said in her edit, that's a significant point.

Anyway, Casper has been notified about it. He and Sphynx and Norsk are the only ones who can give a definite answer and none of them were online when we talked about it.

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Bobbie Faulds wrote:

 

Edited to add, you may get a message like that if you try to purchase something and you don't have a high enough balance to cover the purchase. In that case, I, personally, would go to the top off terminal that should be in the store and add the lindens to cover the purtchase there then go and purchase the item.

 

I didn't see this edit until ChinRey's post alerted me to it. Yes, as described in the opening post the card will only give that warning if you want to buy something that's more expensive than the balance of the card.

Adding balance to the card is something I haven't heard of before. I will look into that because I don't recall seeing such a terminal. Thanks for the tip.

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Please, apply common sense.

Do not grant permissions to objects that you do not trust.  If someone gives you a gift card randomly, out of the blue, it's likely a scam.

CasperVend gift cards are safe, however, it's important to note that scammers can use my prims and scripts to make their fake gift cards look legitimate. Do NOT simply base your trust on who created the card.

I should emphasize that legitimate CasperVend gift cards will NOT request debit perms unless you are attempting to purchase an item which costs more than the value of the gift card

How do I know whether to trust an object?

Consider each positive and negative factor as a weight in your decision.

+ Was the gift card given to you by a friend?
+ Was the gift card purchased from a reputable store?
+ Was the gift card included in the purchase of another product?
+ Does the gift card respond when you click on store vendors?
+ Are the permissions of the gift card set to No Modify + No Copy?
- Did you randomly get given the card out of the blue?
- Do you not know the avatar who gave you the card?
- Were you in a crowded public space at the time?
- Does the card attempt to debit your account as soon as you wear it?

 


Azura Lowbeam wrote:

It's a CasperVend system. It's not that widespread (yet) 

:o 2.3 million vendors!

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Casper Warden wrote:

Please, apply common sense.

Do not grant permissions to objects
that you do not trust
.  If someone gives you a gift card randomly, out of the blue, it's likely a scam.

CasperVend gift cards are safe, however, it's important to note that 
scammers can use my prims to make their fake gift cards look legitimate
. Do 
NOT
simply base your trust on who created the card.

I should emphasize that 
legitimate CasperVend gift cards
will NOT request debit perms
unless you are attempting to purchase an item which costs more than the value of the gift card

 

Thank you for replying, Casper.

This is not about if the card and the store is legitimate/

It's the warning you get when you're asked for the debit permissions. I do not feel comfortable agreeing to what is asked of me in that window with those consequences listed. I don't know anything about scripting so this may be a default warning SL will give in cases like these. I know I'd feel much more comfortable if in stead the popup would read something like: "Do you agree with a one time deduction of X L$ from your balance to complete the transaction?" Where X is the the difference between the price of the item and the balance of the giftcard.

But that may not be technically feasible. I don't expect an entire system to be extensively changed just because it spooks me. I am not here to claim Casper, their system or the stores using it are shady.

I just wanted to know if I wasn't the only one who is turned away by that pop-up.

 


Casper Warden wrote:

 


Azura Lowbeam wrote:

It's a CasperVend system. It's not that widespread (yet) 

:o

2.3 million vendors!

I meant that particular giftcard system. I have only seen it twice so far. CasperVend itself, yes, that I see all over the grid  :)

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Azura Lowbeam wrote:

 I know I'd feel much more comfortable if in stead the popup would read something like: "Do you agree with a one time deduction of X L$ from your balance to complete the transaction?"


That would be ideal. Unfortunately, SL simply doesn't work like that.  It's all or nothing with the debit permissions system.

Unfortunately, this is one area in which SL has always fallen short.

If you don't feel comfortable with granting debit perms, then don't. Contact the store owner and see if they have a top-up terminal available, or perhaps they could issue you another card with a higher balance.

 

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Casper Warden wrote:


Azura Lowbeam wrote:

 I know I'd feel much more comfortable if in stead the popup would read something like: "Do you agree with a one time deduction of X L$ from your balance to complete the transaction?"


That would be ideal. Unfortunately, SL simply doesn't work like that.  It's all or nothing with the debit permissions system.

Unfortunately, this is one area in which SL has always fallen short.

 

Yes, I was afraid you'd say that. Thank you for explaining it.

The top-up terminal was mentioned earlier and that would be the way for me to buy something that is more expensive than the balance of the giftcard.

Thank you for the replies, everybody.

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Ok, here's the simple factsa, without any "the sky is falling and everyone but me is a hacker" bs...

 

That L$500 gift card pops up with that dialog becausze linden labs insist you get that warning.

 

Yeah, while you are wearing the card, if you try and buy a L$600 dress, it will bill you the extra 100 in 'cash'. And ? Is that a problem? If so, don't buy 600 ls items. It's done that way to HELP you, means you dont end up with a whole bunch of cards with dribs and drabs of money left on them that you cant use becayse no card has enough left to buy anything.

 

The card is probably 'rechargeable' too, many are these days, you can reload it at a terminal in the store.

 

As for 'access forever to your money' it can only take money when you are wearing it, take it off, threat gone. Do you trust the store? The danger isLESS than walking into a real life store and paying with your credit card, or standing at an ATM and typing in your pin.

 

People panic way way too much in SL.

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This is exactly the way scammers work.  That particular card may be valid but it is using an outdated and vulnerable method.  It is exactly the same as handing someone your wallet and expecting them to take only what is required for the transaction. OK, so it's a gift card.  You lose nothing by deleting it with out ever using it.  You didn't have the L$ before getting the card and you have the exact same when you trash it.  On the other hand, it is entirely possible and indeed common to have your account drained at 1000 L$ per second until the card is detached.

When dealing with anything over the internet it is always wise to maintain a healthy level of paranoia.

The sky is not falling on me because I never let it.

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There is a definate sky is falling culture in SL. How many group chats have you been in where sombody posts a link to marketpiece . secondwife . con, and within 5 seconds there is somebody telling everyone that if you read the phishing link you need to change your password, contact your bank and ask for a new credit card, shoot your dog, stock the bunker with 5 yrs supply of MRE's, and boil your eyeballs in bleach...

 

Like you said... if people dont trust their fave store and caspervend to debit 100 ls extra for that over the gift purchase, remove the card from your hud, delete, purge trash, problem solved. yopu lose nothing you didn't have before, the merchant gets 500 for nothing less caspervends % cut on the transaction, everyone's happy.

 

I went to a store last year... There were no 'giftcard scammers' or griefers or 'all those bad people called resident' we get warned about.

 

There was a bloody annoying popupwarning from the sky-is-falling store owner that spammed me every 90 seconds to warn me about all the bad things that wern't there.

 

I don't accept cards from strangers, I don't click phishing links, I don't let the sky fall on me, but...

 

I do shop inworld which means accepting boxes and scripted unpacking bags from people i don't know personally, it means rezzing boxes I get from the mp, any of which could have evil inside, do i trust these maitreya people, they might be scamming hackers, who is this slink person and can i trust them, caspervend? they make systems to take money off people, booo hiss hackers AR them all I say,

 

Here... click this box for a free armoured tinfoil hat...

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Klytyna wrote:

There is a definate sky is falling culture in SL. How many group chats have you been in where sombody posts a link to marketpiece . secondwife . con, and within 5 seconds there is somebody telling everyone that if you read the phishing link you need to change your password, contact your bank and ask for a ....{snip}

Never.

TL;DR That's about as far as I got.

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