If you are giving gift cards for Christmas, be on the lookout for this scam where thieves steal the balance without physically having the card.

Gift Cards always seem life a safe bet as a great gift around the holidays, but if you are buying any you need to be mindful of this scam.

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According to AARP, thieves are using makeshift scanners to steal gift card information from cards you see on in-store displays like the one pictured above. They basically have easy access to all the cards. They will then call customer service for the card to check the balance to see if it has been used. The thieves know the card has been activated and how much they can spend using it!

There is a way to avoid this. AARP says you should only by gift cards from a customer service associate that have not been accessible by thieves, or ones that have at least been in the view of associates.

Happy shopping out there - and watch out for those Grinch scammers this holiday season!