CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There is a consumer alert you’ll need to hear if you received a gift card this holiday season.
The FBI is now issuing a warning about selling your unwanted gift cards online. They say scammers could be waiting for you on secondary websites.
It comes after NBC Charlotte previously reported how thieves are hacking gift card information.
If you’re planning to sell your gift card, the FBI is warning you to watch out for the wrong buyer online. The FBI says to be wary of scams on secondary gift card market websites, where consumers can resell unwanted gift cards.
According to the FBI, one way to protect yourself is not to give the card’s pin number until the transaction is complete. Authorities say in other cases, scammers will ask for gift cards as payments for goods or services.
“When someone asks you to pay for something with a gift card, you will give them that gift card information, those funds are instantly removed and you will never receive your service or product,” said Jason Levitt, acting chief for the Intellectual Property and Criminal Cyber Integration Unit at the FBI.
It comes after NBC Charlotte reported on how thieves are now hacking gift card information.
The Better Business Bureau says scammers are going into stores and taking the pin numbers off the back of the gift card. Then, they have software that instantly alerts them when the gift card is loaded and activated. That means they can take all the money off the gift card before you even get to your car, according to the BBB.
Experts say you should be looking out for gift cards that are already scratched where the pin numbers are exposed.