Man talking(l+r), Sephora store front(c)

MrWinn/Shutterstock @seansvv/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I almost fell for it’: Expert issues warning on Sephora gift card ‘scam’

‘Please stay safe.’


Grace Fowler


An expert on reading fine print posted a TikTok saying a Sephora gift card hack that’s going viral is a scam. He says the user promoting the gift cards is also using a stolen identity. 

Sean (@seansvv) has gained 1.4 million views and over 125,000 likes on his video as of publication. He added an on-screen caption urging viewers, “DON’T GET SCAMMED.”

To begin his video, Sean explains that there is currently a “new scam” going around on TikTok. He adds that “thousands of people are falling for it.”

First, by using the green-screen feature, Sean adds a screenshotted photo from a user’s TikTok post. The user’s account (@emma__rosey) is currently not able to be found.

Sean says that @emma__rosey is not the user’s real name and that she is using a stolen identity. Sean says that the real person @emma__rosey stole their identity from is a user named Sequoia Cathron (@sequoiacathron). He added another screenshot of Cathron’s profile to his video. 

What’s the “scam”?

Next, Sean says that the video posted by @emma__rosey is a slideshow that “plays on people’s insecurities and makes up the story saying that they were terminated from Sephora.” He says that at the end of the slideshow, viewers are prompted to go to a site that offers them the chance to win $750 in Sephora gift cards.

Sean adds a photo of the website that he says viewers are prompted to and points out a button feature at the bottom that reads “Apply Now.” 

He says, “While it looks like an official page, they will re-route you once you click apply more to a very sketchy-looking website.” Sean adds another photo of the website he says people are directed to after clicking Apply Now. “I recognize this,” he says. “This is a company I’ve been after for years.”

The company Sean is referring to is RewardZone USA, LLC. Sean says the company “relies on legal loopholes … to get your information legally, exploit it, and make money off it—leaving you with no money.” He says this is possible “because the United States does not have comprehensive data privacy or security.”

Simply put, Sean believes that no one is catching this loophole because “no one reads the privacy policy.” 

“Luckily, I did for you,” he says. Sean says the privacy policy shows all the data that the company can harvest from you and make money “through selling it and brokering it.”

“Literally, ‘How we share and or sell … information,’” he says, reading a purported screenshot of RewardZone’s Privacy and Cookies Policy. “Your health and wellness information, your financial information, your Medicare information, and in some instances, your biometric data.” Seans says the company would be able to sell your browsing information and search history as well. 

Sean says, “This is why I’m so passionate about protecting young kids online.” He says not reading the fine print in the privacy policy is the easiest way for kids to be exploited online. 

Before ending his video, Sean urges viewers, “Do not interact with these videos.” 

“I was wondering why so many Sephora employees were getting fired,” a viewer in the comments section of Sean’s video wrote. “Fr! I was like, this is too sketchy,” Sean responded. 

@seansvv Please Stay Safe #edutok #news #update #sephora #termsaconditions #fineprint #termsofservice #privacypolicy ♬ original sound – SEAN

How do I avoid scams?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) states, “Most scams and scammers have two main goals–to steal your money and your identity.” 

The agency suggests tips to help internet users beware of scammers online. “Be careful with links and new website addresses,” it states. “Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised.”

Sephora also has a “Gift Card Scam Awareness” section listed on its website. To prevent being scammed, the site says to remember that “Government agencies or other businesses do not accept Gift Cards as payment toward bills, bail money or debt collection. Be wary of Caller ID. Scammers are savvy enough to manipulate Caller ID so it looks like it’s coming from a legitimate business or government agency.”

Lastly, the company suggests that customers “Report any suspicious activity to your local authorities.”

The Daily Dot reached out via email to request a comment from Sean, Sephora, and RewardZone USA.

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