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Old 11-27-2007, 05:37 PM   #1
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Default If you're buying gift cards from craft stores this holiday season....

If you're buying gift cards this holiday season for craft stores and such, make sure that you read this article and make sure your hubby reads it, too, if he's planning to do some gift card shopping for you at your favorite stores.

It would totally suck to get a gift card at your favorite craft store only to find out there's no balance on it.

http://consumereducation.suite101.co...ift_card_scams
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:50 PM   #2
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This spring I bought several cards for an employee recognition program. I had a few left over and went to use the Subway cards and they all showed a zero balance! I was out the money but really felt terrible that I might have given my employees worthless gifts! I did buy them from a Subway and figured the employee who rang them up never activated them, but who knows! I had the receipt, but it didn't show the card number and amount I bought for each card, so it didn't help. Yikes!!!
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:52 PM   #3
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This spring I bought several cards for an employee recognition program. I had a few left over and went to use the Subway cards and they all showed a zero balance! I was out the money but really felt terrible that I might have given my employees worthless gifts! I did buy them from a Subway and figured the employee who rang them up never activated them, but who knows! I had the receipt, but it didn't show the card number and amount I bought for each card, so it didn't help. Yikes!!!
Oh man! That sucks! I can totally understand how you'd feel about your employees. Did any of them have cards that didn't work?
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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No one told me they didn't work - hopefully they did work and it wasn't that the employees were too embarassed or shy about it to tell me. I think if I got a card as a gift and it was no good, it would be rather awkward to tell the giver...
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:01 PM   #5
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No one told me they didn't work - hopefully they did work and it wasn't that the employees were too embarassed or shy about it to tell me. I think if I got a card as a gift and it was no good, it would be rather awkward to tell the giver...
Yah, I totally understand what you mean. I think I probably wouldn't say anything either.......unless it was my mother that gave it to me. haha!
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:04 PM   #6
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Thank you so much for that info. I am a gift card buyer as well!
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:05 PM   #7
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Thank you so much for that info. I am a gift card buyer as well!
You're welcome. I had heard about it last year, but didn't realize it was as wide spread as it is. It's become quite the scam and I was shocked that these thieves actually have scanners for them now! SCARY!
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for the heads up sunshine!! My wonderful hubby went right to Papertrey ink and ordered me up the stamps that were written on my wish list!! I certainly got exactly what I wanted -- no zero balance for me
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:25 PM   #9
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My husband got a gift card from Lowe's last year from his mom, and when I went to check the balance a few months ago, the CSR that I spoke with asked how I received the card....it wasn't activated properly! I didn't say anything to my MIL because I KNEW she paid for it, I just figured it was a clerk error when she checked out. I wonder if this is what happened! I'll have to check with my BIL to see if he had any problems with his.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I hadn't heard about this one!
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SunshineMamaView Post
If you're buying gift cards this holiday season for craft stores and such, make sure that you read this article and make sure your hubby reads it, too, if he's planning to do some gift card shopping for you at your favorite stores.

It would totally suck to get a gift card at your favorite craft store only to find out there's no balance on it.

http://consumereducation.suite101.co...ift_card_scams
Thanks for the heads up! I was going to buy a few gift cards at the supermaket but now I think I will venture off to the individual stores themselves.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:40 PM   #11
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Good info to have...we do a lot of GC's for Christmas.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:48 PM   #12
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I bought one at Craft Warehouse a month ago for a teenage friend of my daugher's and the clerk told me that they were thinking about not selling any more gift cards because they had had so much trouble with them! She told me to give the receipt for the card as well as the card! That is the first I have heard of problems with gift cards, good info to know!
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Last edited by Laurie FW; 11-27-2007 at 08:48 PM.. Reason: typo!
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:42 AM   #13
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I have had this happen to me at Lowes and Victorias Secret. It is such a pain for the buyer and the receiver to have to get this fixed. Thanks for the heads up. My goal this Christmas is NO GIFT CARDS!
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:43 AM   #14
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I heard about this last year. I know alot of stores now have the gift cards were you have to scratch off the back to see the number. If only they could all be protected like that.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:48 AM   #15
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Thanks so much for this. I just bought a bunch of gift cards and wondered why I was also getting the receipts - now I know and I will be sure to include them with the cards when I give them.

There's always someone one step ahead, isn't there?
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:03 AM   #16
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Nothing can be easy...it's amazing what people will come up with to steal a buck.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:36 AM   #17
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Nothing can be easy...it's amazing what people will come up with to steal a buck.
It's sad.......it's a wonder these people can even sleep at night!
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:39 AM   #18
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Seriously, is there no end to what these creeps will do? I had never heard of this, so thanks for the info and link SunshineMama. Good grief!
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:43 AM   #19
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It is sad the things people will do. I remember when I worked for Krogers and we got the mega gift card rack in all I kept thinking well I wonder how much we will be ripped off now.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:43 AM   #20
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Seriously, is there no end to what these creeps will do? I had never heard of this, so thanks for the info and link SunshineMama. Good grief!
I've taken to getting all my gift cards at my bank. They have a MasterCard logo on them and can be used anywhere that accepts MasterCard. I know they're not going to have a zero balance on them and the bank guarantees them.

If you like to buy gift cards, this is a good place to get them if your bank (or other area banks) offer them.
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:22 AM   #21
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Another tip if buying from a big display of gift cards (like at a grocery store)...don't pick the one from the front, go to the back of the stack. Most likely the ones that this fraud may occur would be hung back on the front of the hook.

Okay, so NOW that I have tipped off the thief, you better pick that card from the middle
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:51 AM   #22
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I have had this happen to me at Lowes and Victorias Secret. It is such a pain for the buyer and the receiver to have to get this fixed. Thanks for the heads up. My goal this Christmas is NO GIFT CARDS!
Or get your gift cards from the bank. They can be used anywhere and you know they're secure.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:00 AM   #23
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Or get your gift cards from the bank. They can be used anywhere and you know they're secure.
So, they're not "store" specific; they're basically a Visa/MC card with a set amount on them. Right?

so, you can go to ANY bank and just buy these? I had no idea!
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:04 AM   #24
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So, they're not "store" specific; they're basically a Visa/MC card with a set amount on them. Right?

so, you can go to ANY bank and just buy these? I had no idea!
Oops--another question!

Is there are service charge by the bank? In other words, are there additional "purchase" fees, in addition to the amount you put on the card itself?

Can they be re-charged?

Like, if I got one for my daughter, for her to use to buy gas for her car, could I just add more money to it? Or, would I have to get another card?
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:08 AM   #25
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So, they're not "store" specific; they're basically a Visa/MC card with a set amount on them. Right?

so, you can go to ANY bank and just buy these? I had no idea!
Right, they're not store specific. You can use them anywhere that the card is accepted (Visa/MC) and they have a set amount on them.

I know that MOST banks are carrying these now, but it all depends on the bank. I live in northern Vermont and most of the banks around here carry them.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:09 AM   #26
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Oops--another question!

Is there are service charge by the bank? In other words, are there additional "purchase" fees, in addition to the amount you put on the card itself?

Can they be re-charged?

Like, if I got one for my daughter, for her to use to buy gas for her car, could I just add more money to it? Or, would I have to get another card?
The cards that I get don't have any fees associated with them. But I think it depends on the bank

As for recharging the cards, I'm not sure on that. The ones I get can't be recharged, but there COULD be banks around that offer cards that CAN be recharged.

Your best bet would be to call around to the banks in your area and see what they offer.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:20 AM   #27
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Thank you, Erika.

*hugs*
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:21 AM   #28
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Visa offers a card called VISA Buxx that can be reloaded on line. You can even look at the spending history on line, so you know exactly how it's being used. Our 15 year old daughter is traveling to San Diego with her marching band next month and this is what we'll be using-- I like knowing that I can put more money on it for her if things turn out to be more expensive than we planned.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:37 AM   #29
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Visa offers a card called VISA Buxx that can be reloaded on line. You can even look at the spending history on line, so you know exactly how it's being used. Our 15 year old daughter is traveling to San Diego with her marching band next month and this is what we'll be using-- I like knowing that I can put more money on it for her if things turn out to be more expensive than we planned.
Thank you! I may hafta look into this--my 18 yr. old has begun receiving CC offers in the mail-- but, she is definitely NOT ready for the responsibility that comes with a CC.

So, I've been hoping to find a "safe" alternative.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:32 AM   #30
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Erika, Thank you so much for sharing this very important information with us!
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:01 PM   #31
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I usually buy the gift cards for the mall that way. They have a Visa/MC sign and could be used anywhere in the mall. I think this year they a have expanded to using them everywhere VISA/MC is accepted, but down side is you have to always know exactly what your balance is. And they do charge a fee.
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