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7 Tips to Avoid Gift Card Scams

The last 3 months of the year is the time that we are all overwhelmed with a plethora of seasonal promotions and events that can cause a lot of confusion. It is difficult enough to decide what to buy for our loved ones. The decision becomes tougher when that special someone has everything. What do we do now? The simple solution that most of us think of is a gift certificate or gift card.

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Before exchanging your hard earned money with gift cards, there are facts and figures that you should be aware of:

1) Choose gift cards or certificates issued by reputable companies such as Best Buy. If you purchase gift cards/certificates from a company that you’ve never heard of, there is a possibility that they may be out of business before the gift card is redeemed. Your gift will inevitably become worthless. It is better to do business with a reputable company and be sure that there is no expiry date on the card.

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2) Check for service charges. There are some hidden fees when buying certain gift cards. Some of them charge you right away at the time of your purchase.

3) Check the back of the card to make sure that the pin code has not been scratched of or tampered with. If that is the case, the card will be void. Always examine the card thoroughly.

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4) If you are going to give a gift card to a friend who likes to shop online, make sure that the card is only usable in stores.

5) Keep the receipts. If your card is stolen, most retailers nowadays can track where cards are purchased and used.