I admit this has not been my best gift shopping year. I tried, but with the pandemic, I limited my shopping outings, and I don’t like shopping online for obvious reasons. My new mantra is “How about no gifts this year and we all give the money we would have spent to our favorite charities?” 

Even so, there are still gifts to buy, and an easy way to check that person off your list is to buy a gift card. 

Scammers know this and are taking advantage of it. Fake websites have been developed that mimic legitimate retailer websites to make it easy for you to buy a gift card. Scammers also are using phishing emails and texts to alert individuals that they have received a gift card for the holiday and to “click here” to redeem it. 

Here are a couple of tips for giving and getting gift cards during this holiday season: 

  • If you purchase a gift card, make sure it is from the actual retailer.
  • Be wary of buying gift cards online from other sites, such as auction sites or reseller sites.
  • When you purchase a gift card for someone, tell them you purchased it.
  • Don’t click on any texts, email links or attachments that purport to redeem a gift card.
  • Keep receipts of purchases of gift cards for proof of purchase in the event there is an issue.
  • Be wary of any emails or texts requesting that you purchase gift cards for someone.

Happy holidays and safe shopping. I still like the charity giving idea…