Thieves have found a way to empty Wal-Mart gift cards

Wal-Mart gift cards are void

TAMPA - Spring Hill's Kathy Silfies says her parents are Wal-Mart shoppers, so for Christmas she figured a Wal-Mart gift card would make the perfect gift.

But this year, her mom and step-dad say Wal-Mart refused to take the card.

So Kathy drove to the Brooksville store where she bought the card to complain.

She says the manager determined the card was cashed at another store hours after she paid for it.  The consumer claims the manager explained that they were aware of the scam, and that other customers had also been affected.

I contacted Wal-Mart's corporate offices, and while they would not issue a statement, they did confirm a gift card theft problem.  The company says they have shared surveillance video and card information with law enforcement in Sarasota and Hernando counties.

Kathy Silfies only hopes other affected customers are not made to go to the trouble she went.  She says it took four trips to the store before they replaced her cards.

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