Get a gift card this holiday season? Use caution when checking the balance, BBB says

Posted at 2:22 PM, Dec 22, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS — If you receive an email offering to help check your gift card balances, do not click on it, the Better Business Bureau says.

Scammers are using websites to get your card number, pin number and drain your account.

The BBB says you may also stumble upon one of the websites by searching online.

They've offered the following tips to avoid gift card balance scams:

  • Go to the retailer's website: If you need to check a gift card balance, go to the site listed on the back of the card itself. If there is none, go to the website of the company and look for a link to the gift card page.
  • Use gift cards right away: A good way to avoid scams and other issues is to simply use gift cards soon after you receive them.
  • Examine the gift card before buying: Before purchasing a gift card, be sure to give it a thorough look to make sure the PIN isn't exposed or the packaging hasn't been tampered with.
  • Register your gift card with the retailer: If the retailer allows the option to register your gift card, take full advantage. Registering your gift card makes it easier to keep track of any misuse occurring, that way you can report it sooner and potentially end up saving the money that is stored.