The FBI warns that retailers will deactivate any gift card number they discover was initially purchased fraudulently.
So even if you paid good money for the card, it could be deactivated because the seller purchased it with a stolen card.
And if you get a gift card that you think you will never use, you have options.
Can you deactivate a gift card?
To deactivate a Gift Card, select the Gift Cards Button on the Home Screen. Once the card number has been entered, press the Deactivate Card Button that appears at the bottom of the screen. This will display a Deactivate Pop-up prompting you to confirm that you wish to deactivate the Gift Card.
Do gift cards really have to be activated?
Many gift cards are activated when they’re purchased, so they don’t need to be activated by the recipient. However, some do need to be activated by the recipient before they can be used. You can activate a gift card by calling the merchant or accessing the provided URL and inputting the correct activation numbers.
What happens if a gift card is not activated?
Make Sure the Gift Card is Activated
Check the back of the gift card (or any gift card packaging you have) to see if activation steps are required. If so, take care of it before using the card. A gift card that is not activated will definitely not be accepted at the cash register.
Can a stolen gift card be traced?
Gift cards are the top transaction with stolen credit card numbers because when the card gets shut down, the gift cards are still good. Gift cards are difficult to trace. Gagliardi said that it’s complicated to track each gift card purchased with each credit card.