Gift cards

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Buying and using gift cards

Consumers enjoy having the option to buy and give gift cards, offered by some retailers today. There are many different kinds of cards including those for individual stores, for a chain of franchises, for various stores in a mall or even credit card gift cards.

While you might love gift cards for their convenience, you should be aware of the terms and conditions that accompany most gift cards.

For information on their uses and regulations, please visit the Gift cards page on

Gift card fraud

Most companies let you check your remaining gift card balance online, but scammers may try to steal that information by sending spam emails or creating fake websites. If a website or email is fake, keep in mind that the contact information on the site or in the email is likely phony as well.

Quick tips to protect yourself from gift card fraud:

  • Never click on links found in pop-up boxes or emails.
  • Use a search engine to search for the official company website to check your gift card balance.
  • Contact the company directly by calling the number on the gift card.

Beware of gift card scams

Government of Canada organizations—like the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)—will never demand immediate payments by retailer gift cards.

For information on spotting and reporting gift card scams, visit the Slam the scam – Protect yourself against fraud web page on

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Trusted consumer information

Published by the Consumer Measures Committee, a working group of federal, provincial and territorial governments, that helps educate and inform Canadian consumers.