Happy Cards Warning Information Security
Earlier today I covered an Office Depot 20% off deal for discounted Happy Gift Cards. We have also covered similar in-store deals for these cards at Safeway/Von’s/Albertson’s and Stop & Shop/Giant. You can find the full list of cards and which merchants they are good at in my Office Depot post.
With these cards selling at a 10-20% discount, they can be quite tempting to purchase. While some of the merchants aren’t great, others are fantastic. For this reason you MIGHT want to buy some Happy Cards, but before you do there is one HUGE thing you need to be aware of.
Seemingly Not Secure
Earlier today I went into Office Depot to purchase a Happy Gift Card. During my visit I discovered that the packaging does not conceal any card information. The following information is completely visible without opening the packaging:
- Full Card Number
- Expiration Date
- CVV Code
Here is a picture I took of a card at Office Depot. I have blurred some of the card number and cutoff the expiration date and CVV, but I assure you it was all there unconcealed. Also keep in mind that Office Depot keeps their cards in the back of many of their stores and I wasn’t questioned when taking this picture. The card shown is one I purchased and have already used, but no one seemingly would have stopped me from taking photos of all of the cards.
How To Stay Safe
While these cards don’t seem to be secure, there is one way you can protect yourself. After purchasing my 20% off Happy Cards, I went to a merchant where they were accepted and bought that merchant’s gift card with the Happy Cards. I plan to use that merchant’s gift cards anyway and now I don’t have to worry about my Happy Cards going bad.
Keep in mind that despite these essentially being credit cards, some merchants may see them as gift cards and thus won’t allow you to purchase a gift card with a gift card. If the merchant can get past that, then these cards should process just like any other credit card. I wouldn’t buy too many Happy Cards without a plan to use them quickly.
I am a bit baffled as to why the makers of Happy Cards didn’t decide to better secure the card number and other important information. Perhaps they have some sort of additional security I don’t know about, but it seems to me that once those cards are activated, someone who previously saw the number could use them.
Have you had any issues with Happy gift cards purchased in-store? Let us know in the comments.