These Amazon gift cards are worthless. What happened?

Nothing seems amiss when Deborah Morse-Kahn buys two Amazon gift cards at her local mom and pop pharmacy. But when she tries to load the $100 value into her online account, something is wrong — very wrong.

In a world of personalized ads, here’s how to resist the come-ons — and come out on top

To get an idea of how smart marketers have become, spend a few minutes online. Just hint that you might be interested in a product by doing a search or browsing a big site like It’s enough to trigger a never-ending cascade of ads that seems to follow you around, no matter where you go.

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