Don't get scarred by gift cards...
Gift cards are certainly better to get in your stocking than a lump of coal! Unfortunately, the thieves that deserve the lump of coal are trying to get the better end of the deal. By the time their scam is realized, it's already too late.
That gift card you purchased at the store might be all used up before you even give it to the recipient. The thieves will take the information down from the card in the store, place it back on the rack/display and wait for it to be activated at the register. They will check the balance often and once they find it is active, the card is then drained of its funds.
As a purchaser, choose a gift card that is not in the front of the display/rack. Keep your receipt and consider including it with the gift card so the recipient has it if needed.
As a receiver, check the balance by calling the number on the card shortly after receiving it. Contact the card company directly, do not rely on third party websites to do this for you. If there is a zero balance check the receipt if you have it or visit with the family or friend who gave you the card and ask if they have the receipt. While this conversation may be awkward as you do not want to appear ungrateful, you do not want to let the criminal win a free shopping spree!
The common thought has been a gift card is safer than gifting cash, but if you are able to deliver the gift yourself – cash can’t be beat! Did you know? Farmers Savings Bank has new, crisp paper money for your holiday gift giving needs! We also offer customers holiday cash envelopes to help with their holiday giving. Visit with a Farmers Savings Bank employee to learn more about gift card safety or holiday cash!