Gift Card Fraud Alert
The National Retail Federation estimates nearly $25 billion dollars will be spent on gift cards this holiday season, 18 and a half billion more than last year.
It sounds like a great deal. Someone offers to sell you a gift card for less than what it’s actually worth, but Kelvin Collins with the Better Business Bureau warns the card may be stolen or not have any money on it at all.
Before you go out and buy gift cards be aware of scams that could put a damper on your holiday plans.
Look out for cards with the seal on the back scratched off. If thieves get a hold of the number behind it, they can make purchases online without anyone knowing until they use the card.
Kelvin Collins recommends getting a gift card that is stored behind the counter. They’re less likely to be tampered with.
There are also a growing number of third-party or auction websites that sell giftcards to stores at a discounted rate, but the cards may not have any money on them at all.
“If you’re going to buy giftcards online, make sure you buy the giftcards from the retailer that you’re going to use it,” said Collins.
JD Miller is the sales manager at Best Buy which has implemented special security measures on its gift cards to limit the number of frauds this year.
“Once it’s purchased and activated you should treat it like cash,” said Miller.
Kelvin Collins says that like most scams if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.