Scam Warning: Christmas Gift Cards

Chances are you are going to buy a gift card for someone this Christmas...But there's something you need to know before you head to the store to make that purchase. 

Newschannel 10's Blaire Arvin has more on a new scam were theives can steal your gift card-before you even buy it.

Kathy Upshaw... Is a fan of gift cards. She sends them to family members for Christmas. 
"I have several grandchildren they know what they want I don't understand what they want so I get gift cards and they can go get exactly what they want."

Maybe not.
Janna Kiehl of the Better Business Bureau tells us, "Thieves have found a way to steal the card from the shelf and call the store a couple of weeks later to find out what the balance is once its been sold. They then get that balance go online shopping virtually picking your pocket before you even give your card to your recipient."

So how do you protect your purchase? Make sure the card hasn't been tampered with. Don't  buy a card if it is bent or if the bar code on the back has been scratched off. 

And once you have purchased a card, Kiehl says it's best to get the card verified immediatly, " When they buy the card verify the purchase they've just made and make sure the card is activated and the cash they put on there is actually on there."

You can ask the cashier to do this for you when you buy the card, then keep the original receipt as proof of purchase. 

Even after we told Upshaw about the scam... She wasn't worried... She's still going to buy gift cards for her family. "I can't help people with their morals. all I can do is do what I can do train those who I love and not really worry about those who want to cheat."

Another tip from the Better Business Bureau... Keep track of your balance... And try to use the card as soon as possible.