Redbox Video Game Scammers

Scammer's are photocopying or peeling off the bar code of Redbox games to dupe kiosks into thinking game was returned.

Illinois—When Alex Martinez went to rent a video game for his 9-year-old son from the Redbox at his local Walgreens, he didn't expect to prop open the case to find it empty. Martinez says that this happened to him not only once, but twice already. 


As Martinez contacted Redbox to let them know the dilemma, he was afraid they would think he was the one stealing the games and that the issue would become a long process over the phone; however, he was only on the phone with Redbox for a few minutes. Martinez was told that this is a common issue they have been having. Bill Orcechia, from Chicago, was stuck in a similar situation when he opened his copy of Street Fighter and it was empty. 

Orcechia was also afraid when he contacted Redbox because he thought they would charge him $60 for a game he didn't steal; however, he was not charged. Instead, he was given a code for two free rentals. 

How are they able to get away with it?

Every Redbox disc has a bar code sticker that tracks customer’s credit card information, day of rental and other things. These scammers are able to get away with returning an empty case by either photocopying this bar code or peeling the sticker off and placing it inside the disk.


Redbox says that it is hard to pinpoint who exactly was the customer who stole it unless she or he was the first renter of the game. Redbox is looking into new ways to address these challenges and the have already raised the price of the DVD rentals to 20 cents. Their hope is that this won't become an ongoing issue. 

Published Sep. 23rd 2013
  • Ian_4733
    Redbox will counter by no longer renting games because it isn't worth it. Prepaid cards are also not accepted anymore.
  • Dragon Age: Inquistion
  • Keith James
    This just happened to me... popped a game into my Xbox 360 and it was an audio CD instead!
  • GySgt Ramirez
    Or they could have a weight system for the discs. Have the disc weigh a specific measurment, and then have a lead based sticker that had a certain frequency- if the two aren't matched and accurate to what the computer knows, it will be rejected.
  • Caden Moniz
    Featured Correspondent
    This is horrible. I can't believe someone would do that.
    Add cameras to the machines so that they are less likely to do so being they are being monitored...
  • Wade_3416
    you dont HAVE to put your real info to a prepaid card
  • drew_3322
    Assholes always have to fuck things up.
  • uberfry
    There was a dude at my college that would get pre paid credit cards and use them at red box, rent as many as he could and sell em for $10 a pop. dude made a fortune.
  • Alexa Serrano
    Dang..that's pretty smart though! But, dang.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    Red Box charges more than $10 for each not returned movie so that's a net loss, bill collectors will descend upon him and ruin his life eventually. Unless I'm missing a step in his venture haha.
  • Beat_1753
    shouldn't let his 9 year old play such games anyway.
  • Alexa Serrano
    Alex Martinez was the one buying for his 9-year-old son, not Bill Orcechia
  • Stephanie Tang
    Featured Columnist
    Somehow, not exactly the most practical way to combat thievery.
  • Alexa Serrano
    Yea,...they need to figure out a better way.. lol
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    The few times I used RedBox, I always had the thought in the back of my head, there has got to be a way to scam this and someone will figure it out eventually. There are some crafty people out there apparently to come up with this scam. As lame as this scam is, DAYUM that's smart.
  • Alexa Serrano

Cached - article_comments_article_8656
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