Gift Card Do's and Don'ts for the holiday season

As the season gets busy, gift cards are a good idea to give to those special people on your list but the FBI has some steps you can take to protect yourself.

Do not buy gift cards from online auctions. For example, if a site offers a $50 gift card for only $30, do not purchase it.

Buy digital gift cards directly from the seller, that way the transaction is from point A to point B. If you buy an Amazon gift card from Amazon.com, nobody else will have had the chance to see/copy/use that serial number on the card, because it was never displayed in a store.

Be conscious of what you are purchasing. If the cards looks like it was tampered with, do not buy it. If the site you're purchasing from seems illegitimate, do not put credit card information in there.

Make gift cards purchases with a credit card, that way if the money is stolen you can file a claim rather than losing cash or having the amount taken directly from your account.

Activate the cards at the counter. You can even ask the cashier how much is on the card once you buy it. Buying pre-loaded cards makes it easier for scammers to drain the money before you buy the gift card.

Great tips and have a great holiday shopping season!