(Madison, WI) — The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is warning residents of a recent uptick in gift card fraud. The agency says consumers have reported finding a zero balance on cards shortly after purchasing them, some within 20 minutes of activation. Experts believe software bots used by crooks may be to blame, automatically searching card numbers to find available balances. DATCP recommends purchasing gift cards only from trusted sources and not activating them until shortly before use.

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