Take Precautions To Avoid Gift Card Fraud

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Gift cards are a convenient way to give your friends and loved ones “just the right thing” at holiday time. They also give thieves an opportunity to make off with your money, according to a public service announcement issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

How can you protect yourself from gift card scams? Here are pointers.

  • Buy directly from reputable stores. If you’re getting a restaurant gift card, stop by the restaurant in person or visit their web site. That goes for airlines and big box stores too.
  • Check reviews of sellers of gift cards in online auctions. There’s a reason someone’s selling the card at a discounted price – it may be stolen or counterfeit. Are you willing to take the risk?
  • Examine the card. Before purchasing a gift card, inspect the front and back for tampering. Some cards have PIN codes that must be exposed before use. Make sure the PIN is still hidden.
  • Register the card. Some issuers let you register the card at the store’s web site. By registering, you’ll be able to check your balance on a regular basis and identify any misuse.

If you still have questions about your gift cards, feel free to contact our office for assistance.

 

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About the Author:

Charlotte founded the firm in 1984. She has over 30 years of industry experience including 11 years working on audits of municipalities in Northern California. She has had extensive experience working with individuals, corporations, estates and non-profits. Charlotte graduated in 1982 with a BS with majors in Accounting and Business Administration from Central Washington University.

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