Buying Gift Cards This Holiday Season? Follow These Tips to Prevent Fraud


Everyone has received one of those Scam emails that fish for money, passwords, and valuable information. Data breaches are becoming more common as well. In the past, shoppers only had to be concerned about pickpockets; now, they need to watch their Gift Cards just as closely as they do their cash. Follow these tips to prevent gift card fraud this Holiday shopping season.

Make it Personal

Only buy cards that are handed over the counter by a salesperson, not those on store display racks. Ask the cashier to scan the card; this guarantees its validity and reflects its balance at the time of purchase.

Buy Direct From the Vendor

Don’t buy cards being sold on eBay and other auction websites. This is one of the biggest sources of gift card Fraud, and a cheap card may well end up being worthless. There’s always the chance these auctioned cards are used, counterfeit, or stolen.

Take a Trip to the Store

Buy cards directly from the issuing store or from a secured retailer site. If a gift card is bought online, be sure to buy it from the place where it will be used.

Look it Over

When buying a gift card this holiday season, examine the back and front before purchasing it. If the PIN is visible, put it back and get another one. For the best Protection, if the card looks as if it’s been tampered with, don’t buy it.

Retain Proof

A receipt serves as proof of purchase as long as there’s money on the card. Because many retailers are able to track where cards are bought, activated, and used, they may be able to refund the balance if the card is stolen.

Register the Card

If a seller offers online registration of their cards, take advantage of it immediately. Although not every store offers such an option, it allows buyers to uncover gift card misuse and report it faster.

A gift card makes it easy to shop for someone who’s hard to buy for, but there are risks involved. By following these tips, buyers will have a safe and fraud-free Christmas season.

BlogSkyler Barnhart