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How to Avoid Gift Card Fraud This Holiday Season

Gift cards will be the most requested gift this holiday season for the eighth consecutive year, the National Retail Federation reports. Unfortunately, this also creates an opportunity for fraudsters who want a piece of an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

Only buy from trusted sources. Gift card resale markets offer gift cards for less than the face value of the card, but not all of them guarantee the stated value. For example, if the original purchaser still has the gift card and PIN, he or she may be able to use the gift card online even after selling it. Or, if the retailer discovers the gift card was purchased using a stolen credit card, it can cancel the gift card. To avoid these potential issues, Kledaras recommends buying directly from the retailer issuing the gift card. “If you want to buy a Best Buy gift card, it’s best to buy it from Best Buy,” he says.

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