SuperTalk Mississippi

Dangerous Online Gift Cards: Beware Clearing House Websites

JACKSON, Miss.–News Mississippi is looking out for you this Christmas season to help you keep from getting ripped off. One way some people have lost money already this season is by buying dangerous gift cards. The cards themselves aren’t the problem, of course. It’s the people selling them.

The kind of websites you have to be especially careful with are clearing house type sites, according to Better Business Bureau of Mississippi CEO John O’Hara.

“They think if you pay for five cards, the sixth card is free, and you’re giving out a whole bunch of personal identification to buy it, and then you end up not getting legitimate gift cards,” he said.

One danger is that the seller could still have the numbers and could use the card that you just paid for.

“You really want to know who you’re buying them from. You could buy a card that’s been stolen from one of these outlets and that’s never been activated.”

He said another danger is that some cards could have an expiration date.

Even if you’re not buying online, there are other dangers to look out for. O’Hara said a salon in the Jackson area sold gift cards last year, then the business changed hands. After that, the new business did not honor the gift cards that were sold.

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