Avoid Scams This Holiday Season With These Shopping Tips

Nothing says happy holidays quite like new ways to get scammed, overcharged, or have your identity stolen.

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Avoid Scams This Holiday Season with These Shopping Tips
Don't throw away your receipts too soon. Keep a file of all your holiday shopping purchases so you will have a record of what, where and when you spent. And if you need to return, you'll get your full refund so long as the store policy permits. In New York City, businesses are required to give a receipt for purchases over $20 but if the purchase is between $5 and $20, customers should request one.
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If you're shopping online at a credible store or business, it's just about certain the company will provide you with a delivery date. For seller-to-consumer sites like eBay or Amazon, be sure to secure a delivery date in writing. If no ship date is specified, the item must be shipped within 30 days of purchase.
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Go dig up all those dusty old gift cards your wallet's been hoarding and check their value. The value of a gift card must stay valid for at least five years from when the card was purchased or reloaded. Also be weary of gift card scams. Don't purchase gift cards through a third party, if you're paying less than what the supposed value of the gift card is, you're being scammed.
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If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Shop at stores you know, research charities before donating, be on alert for suspicious calls and emails. Fake apps are being developed to mimic real shopping apps so be certain you're using a credible source before making any purchases. Read the reviews in the app store before downloading, and for specific stores, download the app from their websites. Expecting a package? There is such thing as a delivery scam. Watch out for texts or emails that say your package is on its way, but ask for your personal info. Don't click any links in the message. Some scammers will go so far as to deliver a package to your doorstep and ask you to pay a delivery charge. This is a scam. Lots of businesses hire holiday temps. If you’re looking for a seasonal gig, be careful of jobs that are advertised online and ask for personal information or fee payment in order to apply.
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Those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are tempting but before you give a website your bank or credit information, make sure you're using secure Wi-Fi and the website is secure. Stay clear of websites that start with just 'http' and have a padlock icon. Don't click on those unsolicited emails or fishy links from social media sites; type the link directly into your browser.
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Support you local economy! Don't buy illegal counterfeit and pirated goods. Also, beware of recalled gifts and toys. You can check if an item has been recalled at cpsc.gov and click on the recall section.
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