Experts say Americans will spend 25-billion dollars on gift cards this year at Christmas.
But thieves don't really need the get the cards. All they do is jot down the numbers off gift cards displayed at the check out counter.
After a few days, they go online and shop, using the numbers from gift card *you* purchased.
There are some things you can do.
Pick a card from the back of the rack.
Some gift cards include a scratch off pin number on the back, make sure that's still intact.
Buy your gift card from a legitimate retailer, not online.
Police say if you keep receipts there is an excellent chance they can catch the thief that uses the stolen gift card on-line, since many online venders ask for your personal information.
Also, investigators can trace the fraudulent purchase using the computer's I-P address.
So far, no one has reported any cases of gift card fraud in Bay County.