The BBB says your best bet is to buy gift cards in person at a store you know and trust. (WRDW-TV / Nov. 8, 2011)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011
AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Ready or not, 'tis the season to shop. Some of the the more popular gifts this year do not even require wrapping paper, but before buying a gift the Better Business Bureau is warning shoppers to watch out for Grinches.
Robert Davis, manager at the Augusta Exchange Target, says they have already seen a surge of holiday shoppers.
"Once black Friday hits, game on," he said.
Gift cards are popular with his shoppers.
"They're easy for the person you don't know what to get ... It's the easiest gift you can give."
Gigi Turner, of the CSRA Better Business Bureau, says gift cards are a good idea -- as long as you do your research.
"You want to be very cautious if you're purchasing cards online and you need to beware that there are scams out there right now," Turner said.
Last year, 33 shoppers complained to the BBB about gift cards. So far this year, 440 have done so. The biggest complaint is with online gift cards. Some consumers reported that their gift cards purchased online arrived with an expired date.
"What happens is you make a phone call to them the expiration date and they say, 'Oh we will fix that for you,' and they ask you to mail the card in and then they have your money and card and you never hear from them again," Turner said.
The BBB says your best bet is to buy the cards in person at a store you know and trust. Also, double check the expiration date and make sure no one tampered with the card.