instacart scam alert

Tada Images/Shutterstock @jami_elise/TikTok (Licensed)

‘That was way too easy’: Customer shares PSA about Instacart gift card loophole scam after losing $1,000

‘My credit card has been charged for over $1,000 now.’


Braden Bjella


A user on TikTok is warning Instacart customers about a new form of fraud to which she recently fell victim.

In a video with over 22,000 views, TikTok user Jami Elise (@jami_elise) explains how the scam works—and how Instacart seems to be doing little to solve it.

According to her initial video, Elise says that she woke up to a flurry of notifications from Instacart. Confused, she attempted to log in, only to discover that the email address and password associated with her account had been changed.

Despite this, she had accumulated “numerous charges” from Instacart. Needless to say, her account had been compromised, and due to the fact that her email on the account had been changed, she was unable to report it to the company.

“I contact Instacart. They can’t do anything because these people got access to my account, logged in, changed my email address, changed my phone number associated with the account, but still had all my credit cards on file,” she says.

This is when the bizarre deliveries started.

@jami_elise NEW SCAM with @Instacart accounts. #scammeralert #instacart #needschange #fixtheproblem ♬ original sound – Jami Elise

Elise says that, following this realization, she began receiving random deliveries of things she had previously ordered in addition to gift cards. 

“I’ve gotten now 6 orders delivered to my house with gift cards attached to them,” Elise states. “They are getting these Instacart drivers to scratch off the thing on the back of the card and send them a picture of it…By the time that it gets to my house, the card is already associated on somebody else’s account.”

“My credit card has been charged for over $1,000 now,” Elise concludes. “I reported it to Instacart, reported it to my credit card. It is being treated as fraud and I will get my money back, but what a headache to deal with first thing this morning.”

Instacart’s TikTok account commented on the video, saying that the situation Elise alleged was impossible.

“We take your account safety and fraud matters very seriously,” the brand wrote in part. “It is true that shoppers are not allowed to purchase gift cards for customers under any circumstances.”

However, Elise noted in a follow-up that the scammers appeared to have discovered a loophole.

@jami_elise Replying to @Instacart ♬ original sound – Jami Elise

In short, Elise discovered by talking to one of the drivers that orders were initially made without the gift card. Then, once the shopper gets to the store, the scammer requests that the gift cards be added to the order. This appears to circumvent Instacart’s stated policy of not allowing gift card purchases.

Elise is not the first to be part of a scammer’s delivery scheme. Earlier this year, a user claimed that someone continually sent her Domino’s pizza. Another received over 125 bottles of Powerade and other beverages for reasons that she was unable to determine.

In the comments section of Elise’s video, viewers shared similar stories.

“The same type of scam happened with my Netflix account,” claimed a user. “Someone hacked it, changed the email address and there was nothing they would do.”

“My Instacart was hacked once and they tried ordering gaming systems, a new IPhone and expensive make up,” recalled a second. “Only problem for them is that I don’t save my payment methods in there, so they had no way to pay it!”

“Cancel Instacart,” declared a third. “I’m having a security issue with them as well and their fraud department cannot help me after several emails and phone calls to them.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Instacart via email and Elise via TikTok comment.

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