By Alexandria Hoff


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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Stores and malls across our region were packed today. Some were returning unwanted gifts and others were hunting post-Christmas bargains.

All the retail action comes amid a new warning from the feds about a gift card scam.

Wednesday was a busy day for shopping not only because many people are still off from work, but many stores hoping to clear out their holiday inventory are pushing out those clearance deals.

According to the National Federation of Retailers, more than half of consumers will take advantage of post-holiday deals and shop in the days immediately following Christmas.

For some, it’s the quick rush to swap out a gift they weren’t exactly keen on.

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In Melissa Lekulich’s case, she asked for particular sneaker as a gift only to find out it wasn’t exactly what she had in mind.

“I look at the tag and they are women’s golf shoes,” Lekulich said.

“My step mom bought it for me but it was my fault because I actually sent it to them,” she explained.

Chardae Marshall has no qualms about the gifts she received… Or gave a majority of which were gift cards to places like

While many recipients are happily spending those gift cards right about now, it’s important to keep in mind a warning.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, 26 percent of scammers prompted victims to provide payment using gift cards.

“Typically with cash, you’d have to have a meet up somehow so they don’t want to create that risk, so gift cards are largely untraceable,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

Last month Walmart, Target and Best Buy announced steps to try and curb fraud. Among them, reducing gift card limits, restricting the redemption of gift cards for other gift cards and enhancing employee training.

The FTC reminds all that if someone calls you asking you to pay them with a gift card, don’t do it. The cards can not be used to pay for bail, attorney fees or taxes.

They were given to you to spend on yourself, not to put in some scammers bank account.

Alexandria Hoff