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Holly Kay bought eight $1,000 Macy’s gift cards at a California mall because a scammer told her to on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Forty minutes later, she bought $13,000 more in gift cards at that store. The ease with which Ms. Kay was able to complete those purchases underscores the growing popularity of gift cards among scammers seeking quick, hard-to-trace ways to take money from their victims. Buying multiple gift cards is often easier than initiating a wire transfer, because the cards are easily purchased and the numbers can be sent instantly by phone or text message to a fraudster…

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