This email is widely circulating warning consumers about buying gift cards from a number of retailers, including Ann Taylor, Macy’s and The Home Depot because these companies are on the verge of bankruptcy.

The list is misleading in many ways. First, majority of the stores listed are not going bankrupt. It is true that the current economic environment has negatively affected several retailers, forcing many of them to layoff staff and close some stores. Store closings and staff layoffs are red flags, but when there is available public information showing that stores like the Home Depot and The Gap are doing okay, it is irresponsible to put them in the same category as others that are struggling.

Second, It is true that a few retailers on the list have recently filed for bankruptcy, like Circuit City and Linens ‘N Things. However, some of the retailers on the list, like The Sharper Image and Wilson’s Leather went out of business a while ago, making this old news.

As expected, a number of local TV stations and newspapers have also picked up on this and are setting the record straight. You can read more about their coverage here, here and here.