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Tips for shopping safely this holiday season

The Holiday season is here! Like millions of Americans, you are probably planning to buy many of your holiday gifts online. The internet has made shopping easy, affordable and convenient – without even having to leave your home (or pajamas).

Unfortunately, this has caught the attention of cyber-criminals who are keen to exploit individuals benefiting from these conveniences.

To help protect yourself from identity theft, fraud, and other scams, consider some of these tips for a safer shopping experience:

  1. Read reviews and recommendations to see how the product performs — or people’s experience with an online seller. But remember to consider the source.
  2. Check the terms of the deal when buying online — including delivery dates and refund policies. Will it arrive in time? And, if it’s not what you thought, can you send it back?
  3. Be aware that shopping apps can collect a lot of personal information. Look for apps that tell you what they do with your data, and how they keep it secure.
  4. Save receipts. When you’re shopping online, keep copies of your order number, the refund and return policies, shipping costs and warranties.
  5. Have packages delivered to a secure location. If you won’t be home, have them delivered to work, or see if a neighbor can be on the look-out for deliveries.
  6. Check out DBO’s Protect Yourself From Fraud booklet: http://www.dbo.ca.gov/Consumers/SAIF/Pubs/Protect_Yourself_From_Fraud(2014)English.pdf

Read more from the FTC’s Consumer Information blog:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/11/happy-holidays-shopping-tips-ftc

Katie Carruesco, Education & Outreach Specialist

Katie Carruesco, Education & Outreach Specialist

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