The Redbox Paper Disc Scam Continues on ...

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
Since at least 2011, Redbox has experienced a serious problem with their kiosks. Their 'boxes' scan a 'block code' (like a bar code) on every DVD and Game disc through their clear plastic disc cases. 'The box' (kiosk) uses this code panel to locate and deliver the correct movie or game that the customer selectes. When the same disc is returned to the kiosk, the 'box' scans the same block code to verify the same disc has been returned and that concludes the rental transaction.

However, a few unscrupulous people have been and still are returning their rented movie DVDs and game discs with photocopied images of the disks. The copies have the identifying block codes to be read by their scanners and three years later, the kiosks still cannot recognize the difference: no changes by Redbox! Yesterday, I received a call from a friend telling me he went to a Redbox kiosk and he received a 'paper movie' - and it wrecked his evening plans.

Since every rental from Redbox is based on a debit or credit card swipe, the majority of the people doing this are using stolen cards. Redbox card swipes at the POS (point of sale) are tracked back to the card owners and if your stolen card was not reported ... you might have to eat the cost of a game or a movie - or way much more.

From what I have read online, Redbox is well aware of this and when a patron receives a sheet of paper instead of a movie or game disc, their 'happy' customer service drones respond with an offer of two or three FREE movies or games for annoyed customers. Redbox seems to view this similarly to shoplifting and they have chosen to 'accept' this level of fraud. So ... they raise your rental rates to cover it.

That's pretty good customer service in my opinion, but it doesn't address their 'mechanical' problem which continues to allow the fraud to happen. I think it could be stopped pretty easily.

Redbox (still) seems to look at this problem as similar to shoplifting
A couple years ago I suggested Redbox retrofit their 'boxes' (kiosks) and add cameras just like ATM Bank machines have. That would be a good start to improve their security, to reduce the fraud and help catch some identity thieves.


Here is an article from 2011:

How to start a Redbox Franchise:


I wonder how expensive it is to correct the situation? It may be cheaper to allow it rather than retrofit the kiosks or mod the disc package.