Shopping during the holiday weekend? Here are 9 tips to avoid scams

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis encourages consumers to be aware of potential scams during the holiday shopping weekend.


Officials expect shoppers to spend $130 billion from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. Patronis said Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the year’s biggest shopping days, making it a prime time for scammers to take advantage of them.

Read: BBB tracks 50% increase in gift card scams this year alone

However, knowing the signs of a scam can prevent fraud.

“This is a great time of year to shop, but it is also the time to be alert,” Patronis said.

Read: Lawmakers call on FTC to investigate equity concerns with digital store coupons

Here are nine tips to protect from Thanksgiving holiday scams:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be wary of the “ultimate bargain.”
  • Use a credit card instead of cash or debit for consumer protection.
  • Be careful of credit and coupon offers.
  • Watch your account balances and monitor suspicious activity.
  • Keep your receipts and understand stores’ return policies.
  • When purchasing gift cards, make sure to check if there is a fee and give the activation receipt to the recipient.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau if other customers have filed complaints against the retailer.
  • Some retailers offer layaway plans or other payment options so you can pay for items in installments or later. See if there is a fee and what you can do if the purchase is canceled or returned.
  • Research before donating to a charity. Websites like FDACS.gov/ConsumerServices, Guidestar.org and CharityNavigator.org are good resources.

Read: Spending slowdown expected this Black Friday weekend

Click here to learn more about common scams and report fraud.

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