April 16, 2024
  • Google is slapped with a class action lawsuit for alleging profiting off gift card scams and refusing to help or refund the victims.
  • Gift card scams amounted to $433.5 million between January 2018 to September 2021.
  • More than 20% of Google Play gift cards end up in scams.

Google Faces Class Action Lawsuit For Gift Card Scam

Google has been accused of stealing millions from gift card scams. On Tuesday, a class action lawsuit was filed against the company on behalf of Judy May, a resident of Indiana in the District of Northern California.

According to the lawsuit, Google apparently knew about the gift card scams that have been happening to people who buy Google Play gift cards for the last 10 years and intentionally kept profiting from it.

It’s not clear how exactly Google makes the profits but it’s either by keeping its commission of 15% to 30% from the purchases made from the Google Apps or by withholding all the money that’s paid to these scammed gift cards.

The reason we are sure that Google is well aware of the scams is because it has all the information it needs from this process.

  • The date and time of purchase
  • The store where the gift card was bought
  • The total credit on the card
  • Which Google account redeemed it?

So the tech giant still has more than enough info to nab the miscreants.

What makes it worse is that the 38-page complaint mentions that Google continued to ignore this issue even after some customers reached out to it about their stolen funds. Despite them providing all the information needed to fix the issue, Google never took a step.

Not just that, the company couldn’t care less. According to the suit, any time a customer reaches out to report fraud, they’re not compensated for the lost amount in the name of a “no-refund policy”.

On top of that, customer service refuses to engage with them and directs them to the Online Terms of Service where they are told that Google is not responsible for the gift cards if they are stolen, lost, or redeemed by someone else (without the original buyer’s consent).

Google’s attempt to disclaim liability for its knowing participation in and profiting from gift card scams is unconscionable.Complaint against Google

Read More: Google agrees to temporarily restore Indian apps on Google Play Store

What Exactly Is A Google Play Store Gift Card Scam?

For those who don’t know, in this scam, the fraudster convinces the victim to buy a Play Store gift card. Then they tell them in order to use the card, they need to share the code on the gift card with them.

Between January 2018 and September 2021, losses through gift card scams amounted to $433.5 million.

If the victim falls into their trap and shares the code, they get access to the card and can use it for their own purchases. In some cases, the victim is also forced to buy more gift cards and share their codes.

The scammers profit off this in two ways. They can either use the card credit to buy something from the Play Store and then resell it on a third-party website or they can resell the redemption code itself so that the next buyer can choose how they spend the credit.

Either way, Google makes a profit while the customer who originally bought the gift card loses their hard-earned money.

It is a very serious issue because according to reports, more than 20% of the gift cards issued by Google end up getting stolen.

This isn’t the first time Google landed in legal trouble over its gift cards. Back in 2015, a lawsuit was filed against the tech giant for refusing to redeem gift cards if the balance was less than $10. However, it was mutually settled the next year. As for this case, Google is yet to release an official statement.

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