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Gift Cards Informative - Gift Cards

Review by 32031 on 2006-12-08
Gift cards have become very popular as gifts but they are no longer safe. Thieves pretend to be looking over the selections of cards that hang on the racks at stores. What they are really doing is writing down the ID numbers on the back of the cards. A few days later they go to the web page for a particular card to see if it's been activated. If so they purchase the card dry. There's nothing the store can do about it because you cannot prove you didn't use the card or give it to someone else. Of course they could require a PIN be selected at time of purchase but the stores don't want to deal with the cost and extra software to handle it.
Comments:8 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-12-08
Posted by Sparticus on 2006-12-08:
Wow. Interesting idea. Makes sense since so many stores let you use them online. So maybe it is better to grab a gift card from the back of the rack next time?
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2006-12-08:
Be also aware, many gift cards have surcharges, maintenance fees, etc. Like a battery that will eventually go dead even if you don't use it. It just another way corporate America has found to get as much money as possible while giving as little as possible. Another point: If you give US currency they can use it anywhere, a gift card FORCES them to go to the store of YOUR choice.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-08:
If a card has a surcharge or fees it must be clearly stated on the card. This has become law in most states.
Posted by Noneill on 2006-12-08:
Thanks for that important info. They need to lock 'em up or add a zip code to the number at the time of purchase.
Posted by Skye on 2006-12-08:
Thank you so much for sharing this!! My family gives out so many gift cards during the holidays. Wait until I tell them, in fact, I am printing this out for them. GREAT review.
Posted by Extended Warranty on 2006-12-08:
Most big retailers do not have fees or expiration dates on their gift cards anymore.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-08:
For more info:

http://www.snopes.com/fraud/sales/giftcard.asp
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-12-08:
I've seen that...they activate the card by phone just by writing down the number and when someone actually buys the card there were purchases already made. I think the stores should keep them behind the curtousy counters like they do with cigerettes but that won't stop the workers at the store from doing it...and now that they made that info public, I'm sure it put alot of ideas in the heads of other thiefs...I would think the store can prove it if they keep their reciept from the card and show that the first purchase on the card was made before the sale of the card. I know they mentioned on the news that the companies will most likely have the upc number exposed for scanning, but the actual numbers would be under a sealed portion of the card and if that seal is broken, people will know not to buy it. If I repeated anything any one else said, I'm sorry...I only read the post...NOW, I'll go back and read the comments...yeah, I read books from the back to the front too..so what???? LOL.

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