Why you should never buy a gift card from a display rack

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Gift cards are convenient. But before buying your next gift card, you should consider the best place to purchase it. Your favorite grocery store or big-box retailer probably has many gift card display racks throughout the store. While this is a simple way to buy gift cards at the last moment, you may unwittingly purchase a gift card that a scammer has already used. Greeting Card Stand

Why you should never buy a gift card from a display rack

While gift cards are unusable until activated and loaded with funds, you can still fall victim to a gift card scam when purchasing a brand-new gift card at the store. Scammers are getting more creative, and display rack gift cards have become a common target for them. These display racks are often far from the checkout counter, so it's easier to access them without being noticed.

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Scammers are known to tamper with the card packaging to steal information. They record the gift card number and PIN and cover up their tampering, so the cards look untouched. While the tampered-with cards hold no value until an unsuspecting customer activates them, scammers use technology to steal the funds before customers use them.

Computer programs allow scammers to follow the cards they tamper with and get an alert when a card has been activated. Once they find out a card is active, they can quickly drain the funds before the recipient uses the card themselves.

Gift card theft may go unnoticed for a long time because it's not unusual for people to keep unused gift cards in their wallets for months or to give someone a gift card long after the card has been bought. But the funds may have already been drained by a thief. For this reason, it's best to avoid buying gift cards from display racks if possible.

Luckily, there are a few ways to avoid being hit by this scam.

If you buy gift cards, make sure you take steps to protect yourself. These tips can help you spot potential theft and minimize the chances of falling victim to gift card scams:

You work hard for your money, and life is expensive enough as it is. Be cautious and do what you can to avoid scams so you can protect your money. As scammers get more creative, consumers are more at risk for potential theft. For additional tips, check out these personal finance resources.

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Why you should never buy a gift card from a display rack

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