By Nicole Alibayof
For those of you who have not listened to rumors
since high school, now is not the time to start.
Whether you heard about your favorite stores such
as Cache and Home Depot going out of business
from friends, e-mails or Web sites, they are not
true and will not affect your gift card purchases
this Thanksgiving. What you should be worried
about is getting ripped off by scammers. Gift
cards can still be the perfect gift if you choose
Here are eight tips from scambusters.org on
how to protect yourself from gift card scams:
make sure not to buy gift cards from online
auction sites. Many of the cards sold on these
types of Web sites are stolen, counterfeit or
used. They are a large source of gift card fraud.
Only buy gift cards directly from the store
issuing the gift card or from a protected retailer’s
Web site. No matter how less expensive they
may be somewhere else. Make sure, if you do
buy a gift card on the Internet, you buy it
from the place you plan to use it.
Do not buy gift cards off of publicly displayed
racks in retail stores and do not assume that
they are safe because they are inaccessible
to the public; store employees can participate
in gift card scams too.
Always carefully examine both the front and
back of the gift card before you buy it. If
the PIN number is visible put the card back
and get a different one. Do not buy the card
if it looks like it’s been tampered with.
Always ask the store cashier to scan the gift
card in front of you. This will protect you
from criminals who exchange worthless cards
for the cards you think you’re purchasing
because it ensures your card is valid when you
buy it and it reflects the balance you just
charged on it.
Always keep your receipt as a proof of purchase
as long as there is money stored on the gift
card. Many retailers are able to track where
the gift card was purchased, activated and used.
If the card is stolen and you have your receipt,
some retailers will replace the card for you.
Register your gift card at the store’s
Web site if possible. Doing this will allow
you to uncover any misuse of your gift card
sooner and report it quicker.
Finally, never, ever give your Social Security
number, date of birth or any other unnecessary
private information when you purchase a gift
card. No company of good reputation will ask
for this information.
More information about buying the proper gift
cards can be found on Web sites such as ripoffreport.com