Billions of dollars are spent on gift cards during the holidays. As the gift-giving season approaches, it’s important to be wary of gift card scams. Follow these nine easy tips to protect yourself from any gift card scam.
- Purchase a gift card directly from the store issuing the card or from a secure retailer’s website. Avoid online auction sites.
- Buy a gift card kept behind the counter or in well-sealed packaging. Avoid cards placed in publicly displayed racks at retail stores.
- Carefully inspect the gift card for tampering.
- Always ask the store cashier to scan the gift card in front of you to ensure it is valid and reflects the balance you place on it.
- Save the receipt. Some retailers will replace a stolen gift card with proof of purchase.
- Register the gift card at the store’s website and change the security code if possible. Make sure to inform the recipient to avoid any issues with valid purchases made on the card.
- Keep personal information including your Social Security number or birthdate to yourself when you buy a gift card.
- Secure your personal computer to prevent hackers from gaining access to gift card numbers and PINs. Make sure you are using a current version of security software. Use strong passwords.
- Be wary if someone asks you to purchase a gift card in order to make a payment for something or to pay back an overage for selling something.
For more information or if you think you’re a victim of a gift card scam, call us at 877-MY-LAPFCU or (877-695-2732).