BBB warns about gift card scams

"If you're going to purchase a gift card you want to make sure everything is intact ... That nothing has been fooled with the packaging. If the pin number is scratched, you know something is wrong, and you should report it right away."

New Orleans -- This week, a lot of people are using gift cards they got during the holidays. However, with an increase in gift card sales comes a warning about possible fraud.

People are giving this holiday season, and for many, it's in the form of gift cards.

"They're good for everybody," said Sandra Aldridge. 

"I love getting gift cards because they always come in handy," said Katrina Adams.

Adams' daughter received several for Christmas, and is now spending them on things she wants.

"It gives the child the opportunity, or the person the opportunity to pick something out that they really like," she said.

Every year, gift cards seem to grow in popularity. For 2017, the national retail federation, found gift card spending could reach almost $28 billion.

"It's easy especially if you're traveling from out of town like we were," Aldridge said.

However, before you go buy one, there's a warning.

"Unfortunately, this is when the con artists really come out," said Cynthia Albert.

Albert, is the Vice President at the Better Business Bureau. She says gift card scams have been happening in the area and shoppers can fall victim in different ways.

"If you're going to purchase a gift card you want to make sure everything is intact," she said. "That nothing has been fooled with the packaging. If the pin number is scratched, you know something is wrong, and you should report it right away."

Even as you check out, it's encouraged to always pay attention to what's happening.

"What they're going to do is ring them up, but it's easy to switch it," she described. "So, he or she is giving you a blank one and she's piling the ones with all the money on it."

For holiday shoppers we spoke with, their gift card experience for the most part, has been positive. Because for them, the biggest issue they've faced, is figuring out what to use it on.

Another piece of advice, is to use your gift cards sooner rather than later.

If you see or experience something out of the ordinary, you're encouraged to contact the Better Business Bureau at 504-522-9363.

© 2018 WWL-TV


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