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Gift Cards on eBay – How to Avoid Scams and Fraud

online-fraud1If you have considered buying gift cards on eBay, here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud or scams.

Deeply Discounted Cards – If someone is losing a lot of money to sell you a gift card, you should proceed carefully. Sometimes, people who steal credit cards and use them to buy loads of gift cards sell them cheaply to get rid of them. If you see someone selling lots of deeply discounted gift cards on eBay (especially gift card of high value), you should probably walk away. It is entirely possible for the credit card fraud to be traced to the gift cards, leading to a deactivation of your gift card.

Use PayPal – The best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud on eBay is to make payments through PayPal. The main benefit to this is that PayPal requires users to go through a verification process, which acts as a deterrent to scammers. Also, should you become a victim of fraud, you can report it to the PayPal fraud department, who may be able to investigate your claim and possibly recover your money. You can also pay through a credit card since you should be able to recover your money from the credit card company if you become a victim of fraud. However, you should avoid paying for a PayPal transaction via check or money order.

Also, check to make sure the eBay listing has all the relevant information about the gift card, including any fees or expiration date, original value of the card and current value on the card. Contact the seller if this information is not listed and be sure to get it before buying the gift card. You do not want to end up with a gift card that is about to expire soon.

Finally, make sure you check the feedback of the seller of the gift card. Avoid eBay sellers with no feedback or sellers without recent feedback. Make sure you read a fair amount of the seller’s feedback to make sure that they are feedback from people who have purchased items from the seller and not feedback the seller received from buying items from others. This is important because you want to get a good sense of what kind of experience other buyers have had with the seller before you commit to making a purchase.


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  1. gregg

    several weeks ago i bought 245 worth of jack in the box gift cards for 226 on ebay. when i got them, i verified all had stated values. they did. several days later i found one card i was using was zeroed out. 2 of cards with total 85 had been wiped out. today i bought out that jack voided them because they were purchased with stolen credit cards or stolen info. seller had sold around $1500 in jack cards in less than two weeks. after i requested contact info he emailed me and i told him what happened. he has 100% feedback, over 3500 items. he has returned all my payment. i’ll never trust gift cards on ebay again. especially when the number on back can be entered at store without card being present. i was lucky. don’t think the rest of buyers will be.

  2. Amanda

    I purchased a gift card and a voucher for Southwest Airlines off eBay. I found out 2 months later on the day that my flight was scheduled that both were fraudulent!
    Since it is 2 months later Paypal will not refund the money. I am currently working with the credit card company regarding this.

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