In advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Commissioner Adam H. Putnam is providing tips to help consumers avoid scams.
Keep the following tips in mind while shopping on Black Friday:
- Some retailers may inflate prices ahead of Black Friday to create the illusion of a drastic price cut. Research the regular retail price of items to check how much will actually be saved.
- Price matching policies may be suspended by some retailers between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Be wary of unexpected emails that claim to contain coupons with significant discounts and ask for personal information. Don’t click on any suspicious links. These may contain malware to compromise your identity.
- Read the fine print at the bottom of sales ads, as sales may be limited to certain time periods, brands or quantities.
Below are precautions to take on Cyber Monday:
- Avoid websites with odd or incorrect spellings of legitimate companies. Domain names that include hyphens are often red flags.
- Beware of bogus websites promising unbelievable deals. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Be wary of “delivery failure” or “order confirmation” emails for items you did not order. These may be used to gain a consumer’s personal information.
- Use a credit card for online orders. It is easier to dispute and mediate fraudulent charges with a credit card than a debit card.
- Use strong passwords for credit cards and bank accounts.
Consumers who believe fraud has taken place can contact the department’s consumer protection and information hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832). For consumer protection information and resources, visit FloridaConsumerHelp.com.