Sarasota woman victim of gift card fraud, discovers card drained of money

Better Call Behnken

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Better Call Behnken helped a victim of gift card fraud get her money back.

Vanessa Langley of Sarasota said she bought a $70 J.C. Penney Gift Card for her daughter for Christmas. Langley bought the card at Sarasota Square Mall to help her daughter buy gifts for her disabled son.

But when her daughter got to the checkout line, she learned the card had a $0 balance. She called her mother.

“She said, “Mom, I’m really worried because I have all of the stuff on the counter and I’m really embarrassed because I can’t pay for it,” Langley said.

When she followed up with the store, she was told the money had been diverted to a “mystery card.” The mystery card was used at a store in Tampa, while Langley was standing in the Sarasota store, demanding an investigation.

“She said the card was spent this afternoon,” Langley said. “And I said how on earth could I be here complaining and be spending the card at the same time?”

Langley said J.C. Penney told her to “consider it a cash loss” and “move on.”

So, she knew she’d Better Call Behnken. A J.C. Penney spokeswoman responded right away and offered to help. Langley received a call from a general manager and was offered $100, more than the $70 she originally spent.

Meanwhile, Langley filed a report with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and said she still wants to find out how her money actually disappeared in the first place.

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