How to protect, use and exchange gift cards

ABC News' Becky Worley shares tips to protect gift cards and where to exchange cards online, as well as some last-minute savings on other gift cards.
3:00 | 12/26/17

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Transcript for How to protect, use and exchange gift cards
Lots of us found gift cards under the tree with shoppers spending an estimated $27 billion on cards this holiday season. ABC's Becky Worley is with us from San Francisco with what you need to know before you use those gift cards so, Becky, is there fraud risk associated with these cards and if so, how can we protect ourselves? You're right, Dan. You need to register any cards you received with the store or retail chain it's from if you can. Why? That fraud. We know thieves scratch the silver bar off. The one that's right here on the back. Then they write down the code underneath and then this is what is so crazy, they can just buy another scratch-off sticker and put it on there. They wait a week or so until the card is activated and then they go oneven to redeem the code. So you need to beat them to the punch in case your card has already been compromised. Go to the website of the card where you received the gift, search for redeem gift card or register gift card, even if you don't shop right away you've at least staked a digital claim on it. Let's say we buy a gift card or get one from a retailer we don't formally shop at? Can we return it? What are our options? You sound like you're asking from experience, Paula. I'm not sure Dan will Kus that cabela's gift card I got him. You can shop it out for bass pro shop but gift cards can rarely be returned. Often for the fraud issues I just mentioned but you can exchange them at gift card exchanges like one called or Love that name. They won't give you full value but a solid percentage back like 70% or 80% of its value. They do verify the cards and sell them at a slight discount. I have used both before and from my experience they're pretty legit. They sell onesies at cabela's as far as I know. One reason they're so popular is that you're essentially prepaying now and getting a big discount and you say there are a lot of cards that are deals that are still out will and hot? Exactly. Buy one get one. Give one, get one. Many of those deals are live through to new year's and a lot for restaurant chains. Bj's brewhouse, buy one and get one and 20% off, chili's, get $10 bonus card and Olive Garden, buy 50, get 10. They're a great way to get a discount, just keep them in your wallet, right? Thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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