PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 25, 2015) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today reminded Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers to be safe and smart when making their store and online purchases with ten simple shopping tips.
“It’s a busy time of year for shoppers and it’s a busy time for scammers and thieves, so take some time to educate and protect yourself this Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “According to ConsumerReports.org, last year 62 percent of U.S. consumers didn’t take any steps to protect their privacy online, and I can’t tell you the number of times I see keys left in running cars and laptops and packages left on the front seats of parked cars. Remember, it’s not hard to protect yourself, but you have to be vigilant and smart this holiday shopping season.”
The District Attorney’s ten shopping tips include:
- Customer reviews are not always what they seem so take your time and do your research on multiple websites.
- Make sure the price you see is the price you get. Check your receipt to make sure you got the advertised discount or sale price.
- Keep your receipts, record your purchases and track your deliveries.
- Protect your private information when shopping online and make sure you only purchase from reputable retailers. Don’t be tricked into giving out your credit card or financial information for “drawings” or “seasonal promotions”.
- Watch out for scammers posing as charities; a little investigation today can prevent a big headache tomorrow.
- Don’t forget to read the company’s privacy and return policies before you make your purchase.
- Smartphone purchases are on the rise, so if you are going to download an app make sure it is from a reputable source and read user reviews before you enter in your personal and financial information.
- The holiday season is busy for all of us, so be vigilant about where you put your purse and wallet, and make sure you do not let anyone see how much cash you are carrying.
- Lock your car doors, even if you are just going to be gone for a few minutes, and don’t leave money, phone charging cords, bags and expensive items in clear view. Put your purchases and valuables in the trunk.
- Read your bank and credit card statements thoroughly, especially December’s and January’s.
As an additional safety precaution, contact one of the three credit reporting agencies and ask for a fraud alert to be placed on your credit report. You only need to call one agency because all three companies share fraud alert requests.
- Equifax: equifax.com or 1-800-525-6285;
- Experian: experian.com or 1-888 397-3742; and
- Transunion: tuc.com or 1-800-680-7289.