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Buying a gift card is about to get much harder (you can blame criminals)

Buying a gift card is about to get much harder (you can blame criminals)
Photo courtesy of shutterstock

Credit card fraud is annoying as-is, but now it's expanding to a whole new level. And it may make it much harder to purchase a gift card.

There's a new story emerging that's pretty concerning. Major grocery store chain, Giant Food, has just explained that it will no longer allow customers to buy gift cards using credit cards or prepaid debit cards. What's the reason?

It's credit card fraud. Giant, which operates 169 stores in the Washington D.C. area, is now placing signs at the register that explain all purchases of these types of gift cards can only be made using debit cards with pins. This is because the chain has noticed an increase in the amount of fraudulent credit cards that are being used to purchase these gift cards.

Representatives of the chain released a statement, saying, "This change has been made in order to mitigate potential fraud risk."

Grocery stores and gas stations have always been prime targets for card thieves who are looking for an easy way to cash out. It's easy for thieves to buy prepaid gift cards using fraudulent cards, which essentially launders the money for the criminals.

What's worse is that these cards aren't always fraudulent. They could also be stolen, which means the money criminals are using to make these purchases could be yours. Sometimes it's as simple as your credit card getting lost and falling into the wrong hands. But sometimes thieves obtain your credit card information using credit card skimmers.

To help prevent your credit card information from being stolen - especially via skimmers - update your cards to the new chip cards, or use an RFID blocking wallet.

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