If you're planning to pick up a gift card for someone on your Christmas shopping list, you need to be aware of an evil new gift card scam that has already drained hundreds of their hard-earned dollars.

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There are already multiple warnings from the FBI about scammers using gift cards as a weapon to try and fool you into sending money to them, but there's a new one that's even more sinister and hard to avoid. This new warning for Missouri and Illinois gift buyers is due to a scam that started in Pennsylvania. Fox29 reported that more than 100 shoppers found the gift cards they purchased were suddenly empty.

The plot went like this. The report says that "over 100 Visa Vanilla and Apple gift cards" had the card info stolen. The scammers quietly removed the cards from the racks, obtained the cards info including PIN number and put them back. When the gift card was scanned and activated at the register, whatever amount the buyer put on the card went directly into the scammer's bank account. 

But, there's yet another new way scammers are draining Missouri and Illinois gift card buyers of their money. The FBI says that in many other instances, fake bar codes are put on the back of the card. When it's scanned at the register, it will send your bank account money into the thief's account.

Infographic, FBI
Infographic, FBI

These are two of the newest gift card scams, but there are many others shared by the Federal Trade Commission that you should be aware of including imposters posing as government officials and demanding you pay them with specific gift cards. Buyer beware big time.

Tips to Avoid Being Victimized By Scams

When the Black Friday deals show up, so do the scammers! To protect yourself, the FBI shared the following tips.

Gallery Credit: Jessica On The Radio

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