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How to Use an eGift Card and Stay Safe

Buying gifts can be a wonderful way to express gratitude or appreciation for another person. But when you don’t know the recipient very well, it can be a problem. Putting thought into your gift and getting something that will be liked and used is great, but sometimes you don’t have a clue where to begin. Wrong gifts can create an awkward situation. eGift cards are the perfect solution – that way the recipient can choose something they will truly enjoy. But is it safe to use eGift cards? Here are some tips on how to use them without compromising your security.

Buy from Legit Sources

This sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how easy it is sometimes to be lured by fake offers. If an offer seems too good to be true, believe your instincts. Whether you are buying or receiving the card, only do so if it comes from a trustworthy, reputable site. Furthermore, there are some regions that are seen as more reliable (less fraudulent) than others, which is why, for instance, issuing a co-branded prepaid card in Hong Kong, may make it somewhat more credible. If you receive a text or email saying you got an eGift card, make sure that the link actually leads to the official online store of the company in question. Check carefully to see whether there are any spelling mistakes in the URL – if there are, it’s likely a fake. The gift buyer should always have the courtesy to let the recipient know they got them a card, and let them know which store it is from.

Don’t Brag Online

Taking pictures of everything in our lives and posting them on social media is such an ingrained part of our daily lives that we sometimes forget to use common sense. Posting a picture of your eGift card is a big no-no. By doing this, you are essentially giving everyone all the information they need to use your card. Beware strangers lurking over your shoulder too, don’t lend other people your phone, or leave it lying around if it’s not locked with a complex PIN number. Basically, an eGift card is just like cash, and you should treat it as such. You wouldn’t leave your wallet unattended, so don’t leave your card information either. Cybercrime is very much real, but it is also something that can be avoided if you act reasonably.

Don’t Use Shady Apps

When it comes to apps you can use for eGift cards, it’s best to stay on the safe side. Your best bet is to use official store apps. The process is simple: you create an account on the official website of the store, then download their app and log in with your account username and password. After that, you can use the app to make your purchase. The recipient of your gift will typically receive a notification email with a barcode. Official apps are also the safest way for recipients to save their cards. Alternatively, there are a few reputable apps that you can also use for storing the gifts, such as the Google Wallet, Apple’s Passbook, and the Gyft mobile app. Wallets like the Google one and GoWallet have their own scam and fraud monitoring systems, which brings added safety. These security systems ensure that no transactions can be made without the owner’s authorization. If fraud is detected, the account is immediately suspended for the user’s protection.

The most important thing is to be vigilant and reasonable. In case your phone gets stolen, lost, or if you suspect it has been in any way compromised, it’s best to be prompt. You need to pause or suspend your account before the eGift card is redeemed. However, if you follow the few simple security rules we’ve mentioned, you will surely be able to enjoy giving and receiving gifts without any trouble at all.