The gift card you just bought may turn out to be worthless.
Police in Belmont say scam artists have figured out how to make lots of money off gift cards while you get ripped off.
Here's how it works.
First crooks take cards from store displays.
Then they remove the activation tab from one card and put it on another card.
Finally they put the altered package back on the rack for you to buy.
When a checker swipes the card you are paying for they are actually activating the card the crook kept.
Belmont Police Lt. Patrick Halleran says you buy a $100 card that is worthless because the tab and the card don't match.
The suspect now has a card worth $100. Police are urging people to take a good look at gift card packaging before buying a card.
Wrinkled cardboard and glue are signs of tampering. Police in Belmont arrested a man Tuesday after a detective saw him stealing cards from Safeway.
Police found 10 altered gift cards in his car.