Watch out for gift card deals online

7/5/2017

Have you been offered to buy a gift card for the cinema, furniture or food to an unusually low price? Watch out - you may get stuck in expensive subscriptions that can be difficult to get out of.

Accepting deals on cheap gift cards online can be expensive. Recently, ECC Sweden has received calls and requests from consumers who have accepted offers on cheap gift cards, which later turns out to be expensive subscriptions.

The ads are featured in social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Often, you must complete a market research to get to the offer. To accept it, you must pay by bank or credit card. Once you have paid, the company can continue to withdraw money every month.

Until today, ECC Sweden does not know about any consumer who actually received a gift card after having accepted and paid for the offer.

3 tips to avoid the gift card scam

  1. Make a search on the offer in a search engine online. If someone has been tricked you will probably find information about it. You can also visit the official website or Facebook page of the company listed on the gift card. Large companies usually warn for gift card frauds on their own websites or pages in social media.
  2. Find out which company is behind the offer. Never accept an offer in a social media or pop-up ad without checking which company is behind the offer. Visit the company's website and look for the terms of the offer. If you do not find the company name in the ad or the terms of the ad, do not accept the offer.
  3. Find out the real cost. Read the terms and conditions and look for price information for the total cost of the offer. It is usually where you see if the offer leads to a subscription and what the offer actually costs. Do not take for granted that it is free if there is no price information. Make an extra check to be sure.

Read more about subscription traps.