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Does Western Union Buy Gift Cards

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Nov 02, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in the money transfer segment of global payments, today launched a new Visa(R) prepaid gift card and greeting card offering, providing consumers in the U.S. new ways to send the gift of money anytime of the year, including this holiday season, using Western Union(R) branded prepaid gift cards available at

does western union buy gift cards

"The launch of the Western Union prepaid Visa gift card complements Western Union's consumer experience when giving the gift of cash," said Stewart A. Stockdale, Executive Vice President and President, The Americas for Western Union. "As a leader in money movement, we understand what consumers need and want - convenience, fast and reliable money management solutions. Our new prepaid gift card and personalized greeting card offering follows the recently introduced Western Union MoneyWise and Gold Card reloadable prepaid cards."

** Visa's Zero Liability policy covers U.S.-issued cards only and does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholder must notify issuer promptly of any unauthorized use. Consult issuer for additional details or visit

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta and Pago Facil branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta operate through a combined network of more than 400,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2008, The Western Union Company completed 188 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $74 billion of principal between consumers, and 412 million consumer-to-business transactions. For more information, visit

Sites like Raise operate as a sort of marketplace with the burden to sell the gift card placed on you. You'll be able to choose how heavily you want to discount your card, and you can view the discounts that others with similar gift cards are offering. You won't receive any money until someone buys your gift card.

That's a higher fee than many other sites, though Raise's strong reputation can make it worth the price for some. Selling gift cards for the first time can be a bit nerve-racking, after all. Raise offers two payout methods: ACH direct deposit and PayPal.

One of the best features of CardCash (and an advantage it has over Raise) is that it's pretty indiscriminate as to which gift cards it will buy from you. It follows standard practices, such as refusal to sell gift cards with expiration dates or promotional cards that can only be spent in certain areas. But the list of accepted merchants seems to be much larger than that of Raise. So even if your obscure gift cards don't yield a huge return, you'll at least get something.

The same way you can use sites like Raise and CardCash to sell your unwanted gift cards, you can use them to buy other people's gift cards at a discount. If you're planning to purchase discounted gift cards through these sites, be sure to use a credit card that will give you the maximum return for your spending. Gift card marketplaces won't fall into any bonus categories, so the best strategy is to spend on a card that gives you a respectable flat rate on everyday purchases, such as:

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases

You can easily turn gift cards into cash (or more desirable gift cards) through reputable sites like Raise and CardCash. The site you choose will depend on the ease of sale and the type of gift card you have. You won't get full value for it, but that's still better than letting a gift card go unused.

Items that do not qualify to earn points are Price Chopper, Market 32, and Market Bistro gift cards, alcohol, tobacco, money orders, Western Union, lottery tickets, postage stamps, entertainment tickets, bottle deposits, copy/fax services, taxes, and other items prohibited by law.

Items for which redemptions cannot be used are the purchase of Price Chopper, Market 32, Market Bistro gift cards, third party gift cards, prepaid phone cards, general purpose reloadable cards, alcohol, tobacco, money orders, Western Union, lottery tickets, postage stamps, entertainment tickets, bottle deposits, copy/fax services, taxes, pharmacy, and other items prohibited by law.

He has his work cut for him. The world of online scams has exploded in recent years -- in April, a Harris Poll survey of 2,000 Americans commissioned by the app Truecaller found one in three people said they'd fallen victim to a phone scam, and more than half of them said it happened on more than one occasion. The lost money equates to an estimated $29.8 billion last year, a staggering jump from the $19.7 billion Truecaller estimated for 2019. The scope of gift card fraud, where scammers trick people into buying gift cards and handing over the numbers, is especially difficult to pin down because many victims don't report the crime. They're often embarrassed, and unlike identity theft, where there are strong consumer protections in place, there's almost no way to get their money back.

"They don't really know who's holding onto these gift cards," said Mark Roberts, who helped co-found the startup Leverage in Southern California nearly two decades ago. Back then, the company encouraged people to register their gift cards through his service. In exchange, the site would help people track, manage and swap the cards with other users. The retailers he worked with were aware of gift card scams even back then, Roberts added, but it was small enough that "they mostly didn't really care."

Just as other organizations have noted, Microsoft began to detect scammers shifting to gift cards. That's in part because Visa, MasterCard and other credit issuers had made it harder to open accounts to accept money from victims, Schrade said. "It gave the scammers an air of legitimacy that they could take credit cards, but also there was a tracing ability of where the money's going," she added.

Back then, many inside Western Union "didn't consider the fact that we had an obligation to protect people," said Dan Marostica, who's worked for the company for 31 years. As with gift cards today, the fraud Western Union saw was only a fraction of the total activity on its network. But it added up fast.

The Retail Gift Card Association recommends retailers make changes to fight scams anyway. It's suggested changing how gift cards are made so it's harder for thieves to copy numbers still on the rack, stealing the money once they're activated by someone else.

The association has also recommended better training for cashiers, helping them to identify potential scams and quickly intervene when they suspect it -- for example, a customer who seems anxious while attempting to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards.

"The gift card industry as a whole -- including retailers -- wants consumers to have positive experiences with our brands," the Retail Gift Card Association wrote in an e-mailed response to questions. The organization said it regularly works with law enforcement and sends regular suggestions to store owners about how to better spot and fight scams before victims finish buying cards.

Millions of listings on eBay make our gift cards a great present. However, without knowing the facts, consumers can fall victim to costly gift card scams. Our customers are our top priority and your protection is important to us. We've put together the following tips and tools to keep you safe. While the specifics of various scams differ, fraudsters generally follow a common pattern:

They reach out to their target by phone, email, social media, or online and create a sense of urgency indicating some kind of personal hardship that requires a quick sale or a limited time of availability. They ask for payment using gift cards from a nearby store or online, and for the gift card code to be given to them. Once they have the code, they disappear, and whatever was promised vanishes with them.

Scammers might tell you that your computer is infected. They pretend to be connected to eBay, or other well-known brands, and say they have found malware on your computer. Other scams include ads or pop-ups that tell you to call a number to remove the malware. These scammers often ask for remote access to your computer to run fake tests. They'll pressure you to pay for unnecessary repairs and ask for payment in gift cards.

Scammers will call you and say that a loved one is in trouble. The scammer can sometimes pretend to be a lawyer or even the loved one themselves. They often ask for money in the form of gift cards and ask you to give them the codes. Learn more about family emergency scams.

Credit CardsWe accept the following credit cards as a form of payment for your cruise reservation, online shore excursion purchases, spa service purchases and Fun Shop gift purchases as well as deposit toward your onboard Sail & Sign account.

Gift CardsWe accept the following gift cards as a form of payment for your cruise reservation, online shore excursion purchases, spa service purchases and Fun Shop gift purchases as well as deposit toward your onboard Sail & Sign account. Please note* - The American Express Gift Card cannot be used as deposit toward your onboard Sail & Sign account.

Physical gift cards: Publix gift cards can be found near the checkout lanes or in the greeting card section at any of our stores. For a large number of cards or for business purchases, you may order the gift cards through or by phone by calling 1-800-830-8159. 041b061a72


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