It’s one of the most popular gifts to give around the holidays, but if you received a gift card, you may want to use it quick.
Consumer reports warns during the shopping season, crooks take cards from the rack. They write down the numbers and scratch off the strip on the back to get the security codes
Then, using replacement strips that can be found online the hacker covers the codes and leaves the store. Once you buy the altered card and load money onto it, the thief gets an alert.
CNN reports there are far more sophisticated ways to get access to the funds on your gift card as well. One of which is using bot-nets to try and discover gift card account numbers.
Consumer report recommends protecting yourself by buying directly from the retailer online.
And if you do buy a gift card in person from a store, try and get one that is kept behind the register.
If you are the victim of a scam, it may help to call the retailer who issued the card. They may help identify the fraud and refund your money.