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Are retailers giving away free gift cards? | 12 Scams of Christmas

Gift card scams made our list of scams this holiday season.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — I'm sure we would all love some extra money this holiday season.

And gift cards are great to give as a gift, but it's unlikely a big company is giving you one for nothing.

On day 5 of our "12 Scams of Christmas," why free gift cards will likely cost you your data. 

I love my Kohl's Cash as much as the next gal, but something about this email seemed off.

A free $100 dollar gift card for just opening an email? Scroll down a bit and it states you need to answer a survey.

If it's actually from Kohl's and I already shop there, so what's the big deal?

Let's just see if it is actually from the retailer. Check the sender and nope. 

That's definitely not Kohl's.

Emails like this can trick people, especially when they phrase something like "We want to give you a free gift card for being a loyal customer during the pandemic!"

Most of the time, it's a phishing scheme where scammers pose as a legitimate company to get your information.

And sometimes, you may even get some sort of gift card, but it will cost you in other ways.

That's why these free gift card claims made the Better Business Bureau's 12 Scams of Christmas. 

"Nine times out of 10, it does not end up being free," Kelsey Coleman, the director of communications at the Better Business Bureau for Metro Philly and Eastern Pennsylvania, said. "It may be an extra cost for shipping or a free trial that you're signing up for, but if you're not reading that fine print carefully, you may end up being charged after." 

The Federal Trade Commission has reported a major increase in gift card scams this year.

The bad guy's number one target? Is well...Target. People lost more than $35 million in Target gift card scams just in the first nine months of 2021.

Coleman said, "The word free in the world of scams can be a big red flag."

There are plenty of different variations of gift card scams.

So, if you don't get a gift card in your stocking or in a card from grandma, it's probably a scam.

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.

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