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How to Avoid Gift Card Trading Scams By eHow Contributor

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You have heard about fake money scams fake Money Order scams. According to Allssa Ponchlone and AARP Magazine (Jan/Feb 2009), you can now add gift card scams to your "be aware" list. This article IS NOT about the email that circulates telling you people are copying the number off displayed cards and stealing the balance. I never knew how that was possible because 1) the number on the outside does not match the number of the actual gift card and 2) you can not get the balance on the card without knowing the 3 digit code on the back of the card inside the envelope. Anybody receiving that email and forwards it does not use gift cards or they will know it is not true. However, evil doers now buy gift cards with stolen credit cards and trade them on trading sites for legitimate cards. Learn how to protect yourself and avoid gift card trading scams.

Things You'll Need
  • Gift card
  • Computer with Internet Access

Instructions

  • 1. Be careful of websites offering gift card swaps. There are websites that allow consumers to swap gift cards with another consumer for one that they really want. For example if you have a Kroger gift card but you prefer shopping at Publix or Walmart, you can go to the site and trade gift card with another willing consumer.

  • 2. To avoid gift card scams you must do your homework. Research the site to make sure it is a legitimate trading site. Major clues include contact information. Look for the contact information and test it. If there is a phone number, call it. Make sure you can get a person and not a recording. Email them and note if there is a response. Check website where consumers report fraudulent activity.

  • 3. Look for signs that the website is a "verified" site. Alissa Ponchlone of AARP Magazine recommends Card Avenue and Plastic Jungle as a starting point if you want to trade gift cards online. I think CraigsList is another good resource. If you choose GraigsList, try to get someone in your city and state to trade with you and avoid gift card scams.

Resources

Original article published on eHow.com

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