A gift card may be on your holiday shopping list but watch out if you buy one from an internet auction site.
Be aware of a gift card scheme called "e-fencing."
Last year people purchased more than 19-billion dollars worth of gift cards.
Most were legitimate but some consumers bought gift cards from internet auction sites.
The gamble usually starts with stolen credit cards that thieves quickly convert into gift cards or gift cards are cloned into phony gift cards with little or no value.
In either case, thieves auction off these gift cards online to unsuspecting customers who are looking for a bargain.
Joe Larocca, member of the National retail federation says, "A couple of years ago, several retailers did a survey. About 70% of the gift cards that they acquired over the internet were in fact obtained with fraudulent tender or didn't have the value that they claimed to have."
The National Retail Federation says consumers should only purchase gift cards from legitimate retailers where receipts are given along with the purchase.