We all have those hard to buy for people in our lives, and sometimes instead of trying to find something they’ll like, we purchase a gift card to their favorite store instead. Whether you get or give a gift card this holiday season, your BBB® would like to provide you with the following tips.

Always check for an expiration date. No one wants to receive a card that can’t be used because it expired. Even if there is no expiration, check to see if the card with lose value over time due to non-use as some stores reduce the value of a card if it is not used within a certain time frame. There may also be a time limit to register the card or a limit on certain incentives. Policies vary by retailer so be sure to understand the terms and conditions.

Make sure the card’s id number and/or security code haven’t been scratched off. If you can see these numbers, the card may be compromised as some schemers have been known to go to stores and write down all the information from a gift card. When the gift card is purchased by an unsuspecting consumer, the schemer will drain the cards funds before the consumer receives or uses it.

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