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Why You Shouldn't Buy Whole Foods Gift Cards Online

Buyers beware.

Whole Foods/Facebook

If you're thinking of getting your health-conscious loved one a last minute present in the form of a Whole Foods gift card, you may want to make sure you purchase it directly from the store. According to NBC29, many customers who purchased a gift card online have become victims of an online scam, and they've only discovered it when they tried to use their new gift card at a Whole Foods store.

The company has seen a recent increase in fraudulent gift cards being used in stores in Virgina. Whole Foods has not responded to requests for comment on the geographic spread of this scam. However, victims did not purchase their gift cards directly through the Whole Foods website, but rather from other online sources. Because affected consumers likely used a credit card to pay for these fraudulent gift cards, their credit card company can likely issue a refund if the fake is caught in time.

Whole Foods says consumers should look for a four-digit number on the bottom of the card that matches the number on the barcode. If those numbers don't match up or the pin is not there, the card is most likely a fake. A local Whole Foods manager, Dave Berger, explains that the holidays are a time where scammers become more prevalent and says, "Make sure you're buying things like gift cards from a reputable source."

While online scammers may be making big bucks off innocent Whole Foods consumers and their whole paychecks, they don't hold a candle to the guy that scammed Starbucks into giving him a free coffee every day for a year.