Gift cards are a savior since they save you time and effort when it comes to selecting the perfect present for your loved ones. They’re a terrific way to provide joy to someone while also adding a personal touch. Gift cards are especially useful in situations where you are unsure of a person’s likes and dislikes. They allow a person to purchase exactly what they are looking for. Gift cards are popular worldwide, with a market share of $619.25 billion in 2019. The market share of gift cards is expected to reach $2,076.51 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 16.2 percent. Gift cards are one of the most versatile and easy gifts options, but they are vulnerable to theft and fraud. Because they have so few security solutions, fraudsters continually develop new ways to get around them. Today, we have come up with some useful tips that will help you avoid gift card fraud and help you seamlessly transact through them.
Table of Contents
Tips that Will Help You Prevent Gift Card Fraud
Always Buy from Stores You Trust
Make it a point to buy gift cards only from stores you know and trust. Never buy them from unauthorized or unknown sites or even auction sites because there’s a high chance your card has been tampered with, stolen, already used, or fake.
Also, try purchasing gift cards from those retail stores that would have them displayed near the POS terminal to keep an eye on any fraud activities. The good news is some merchants are protecting their gift cards by hanging the packaging now and then to keep the PIN tightly sealed, making it difficult for fraudsters to access them.
If you buy your gift card online, make sure you don’t fall prey to phishing. Some scammers have created similar-looking websites like reputable ones, and you may be tricked into buying a fake gift card from a scammer’s site.
Check Your Card Before Purchasing
If you purchase a gift card from a physical store, never choose the first one from the rack. Always check the gift card properly before purchasing and ensure there are no tampered areas on it. Also, check whether the card is securely wrapped and the sensitive details are covered.
As mentioned above, some fraudsters may already scratch the security codes and note down the card numbers while still on the sales racks. So, check for any unusual scratches, stickers, or other stuff attached to the card.
Check whether the protective covers or stickers are correctly on the card, covering its number and PIN. Whenever you identify a problem, inform the salesperson immediately and choose a different card instead.
Always Have Your Receipts Intact
Get a correct receipt after every purchase of gift cards and double-check that the card number on the receipt matches the card in your hand. Also, make sure the card you choose is activated correctly when you receive the receipt, as this will authenticate your transaction. In the event of card loss or theft, the receipt and card number will be useful in filing a report.
Keep Your Card Close at Hand
It almost goes without saying that after purchasing a gift card from a retail store, keep it close to you and beware of fraudsters who may be watching you from start to finish, looking for opportunities to steal it. Protect your gift cards as you do with your cash or credit cards.
Never Share Your Card Details with Anyone
Treat gift cards as your credit cards and, therefore, never share any of their details, including card numbers and security codes, with anybody (unless it’s the recipients themselves). Once a scammer gets your details, it will take a few seconds to steal all your money.
Buy Gift Cards Online
Gift cards available at physical stores are often prone to higher risks of tampering. That’s the reason why it’s better to purchase them online from secured online platforms like Coingate. Such platforms allow you to purchase gift cards from stores like Amazon and Flipkart, too. You can visit here to explore a range of e-gift cards that you can buy using cryptocurrencies.
Change the Security Code Immediately
Like for any security codes, it’s always a good practice to update them the first time they are generated. So if you are purchasing a gift card from a physical store location, make sure that you change the PIN instantly after its activation. Next, you can also ask the recipient to change the security code of the gift card once again immediately after receiving it. It will reduce the chances of card fraud and help them transact seamlessly.
Reporting a Gift Card Fraud
In case you are duped by a fraudster, you can report the fraud immediately to the redressal authority. As a responsible citizen, you should report any fraud even if you didn’t pay for the card to prevent anybody else from being a victim of this scam.
Alternatively, you can also report the gift card fraud to the attorney general of your state. If you lose your money, you can go ahead and file a report at the local police and inform the local law enforcement.
Gift cards are undoubtedly the most convenient gifting options and are profitable both for the consumers and the merchants as they make a good portion of their sales. However, you need to keep the above things in mind to prevent any risks of fraud actions, like card theft or tampering.