Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Gift card fraud

The Charlotte Observer reports that there's a new type of fraud this holiday season, gift card tampering. Online gift cards are the target of criminals who are stealing blank cards to sell them online, leaving gift recipients embarrased at the checkout counter.
The scams are a new form of fraud that has become a growing concern of retailers and shoppers as more department stores, restaurants and supermarkets offer gift cards as a way to increase sales, bring in first-time shoppers and build brand loyalty. Gift card sales make up about 4 percent of the $435 billion in holiday spending nationally, according to the National Retail Federation. More than two-thirds of the consumers the group surveyed said they planned to purchase at least one gift card for the holidays, making up about 16 percent of the average consumer's holiday gift budget.

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