Uncle Sam moves to curb gift card abuses

Washington - (NBC) - You might think they are as good as cash, but many gift cards come with strings attached which is why the federal government's stepping in.

A new government rule will allow customers up to five years to use gift cards before they expire.

"If these folks that put out the cards, if they don't adequately disclose that they have fees, then people are deceived," said FTC attorney Tom Carter.

Experts recommend consumers should do their own research before buying gift cards and to pick reputable companies that are financially stable.

The new gift card rules will apply beginning August 22 of this year.

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