Attorney General warns Christmas shoppers to beware of worthless gift cards

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – If you’re purchasing gift cards this holiday season, buyer beware!

Experts are calling 2017 “retailer apocalypse.” Dozens of shops, including big box stores, closed shop, downsized or sold. Many filed for bankruptcy.

“We suggest that if an individual is going to purchase a gift card to give to someone, that they use a credit card,” said Betsy Isenberg with the Indiana’s Attorney General’s Office.

Isenberg said if a store suddenly closes or stops accepting gift cards, some credit companies will refund the money.

“I would counsel someone against purchasing a gift card for a store they know is closing because you don’t know that you’ll be able to get it and use it,” she warned.

The Attorney General’s Office went on to warn that even though most stores will continue to accept gift cards, there are a few in the past that have filed for bankruptcy and sold the company’s liabilities. That meant their gift cards were no longer honored.

Grocery stores and third-party locations that sell gift cards will typically take the cards in question off their shelves. Sometimes, though, that is delayed.

Statistics show more than 50 percent of consumers will purchase a gift card this year.

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