“What thieves often do is take advantage of a technology hole with most retailers. That hole is that the specific identifying numbers of gift cards are not always tied to the card that made the purchase. In other words, when a bank shuts down credit or debit card 123456, there is usually not an automatic way to instantly shut down any gift cards recently purchased by payment card 123456. Therefore, thieves like to take stolen cards/stolen card credentials and immediately purchase as many gift cards as they can. In effect, that extends how much time they have to use the gift cards to purchase merchandise that they quickly monetize through pawn shops, eBay or even street sales.
The proper fix for this problem is to close the loop. Make sure that every purchase of a gift card includes the serial number of that card, so that a canceled payment card can almost instantly cancel all recently purchased gift cards.”