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Beware of bargain gift cards

If you’re looking for some good deals, gift cards could be just the ticket. ┬áBut do you know what you’re getting?

From restaurants to electronics, there are lots of unwanted cards for sale online.

They’re one of the most popular gifts at Christmas. Yet every year, thousands of gift cards are never used, and even more have left-over balances.

That’s why you’ll find lists of gift cards for sale on classified ad sites like Kijiji and Craigslist.

And the selling price is less than face value.

Some examples include, a $75 H&M card for $50. $125 in Marks Work Wearhouse cards for $85. Or a $200 Nordstrom card for $15 off.

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Pretty good deals – trouble is, some cards are purchased with stolen credit cards.

“What happens is the credit card company will deactivate the cards after the fact, after they’ve been activated and so maybe a week down the road after you’ve paid for it and check the balance, the balance will go down to zero and you’re out of luck,” said Francis Ho of CardSwap.ca.

Ho says it’s a good idea to get contact information, and ask why the card is being sold.

And remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you’re a seller, and don’t want the hassle, Card Swap suggests donating the gift card to charity.