SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – If you’re a gift card giver this holiday season, be careful of scams making the rounds.

According to the National Retail Federation, gift cards have been a top present Americans want the most for the past 13 years.

While gift cards are generally safe and secure, like other payment options they are susceptible to scams.

Here are some things to look out for when gift card shopping:

  • PIN numbers: Check the card to make sure the wrapping has not been tampered with and the PIN code is not revealed; if it is, take it to a worker and pick a different card
  • If your card has a hidden PIN, don’t scratch and reveal until it’s ready to be used
  • If your gift card is mobile, keep it in an account or mobile wallet that requires a password
  • Make sure to hang onto the receipt and include it with the gift card to your recipient
  • Check the sticker: Some scammers put a sticker over a card’s activation code, so when you try to load money it, the money actually goes to the scammer’s account; check before buying
  • Don’t be fooled: You can not usually pay bills or other expenses with a gift card, and remember that no one from the government or police will ask you for a gift card
  • Make sure you’re purchasing the gift card from a trusted source and known retailer or brand, especially online

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