Holiday Shopping

Gift card Scams:

Don’t buy gift cards from online auction sites; many are stolen or counterfeit.

When buying gift cards from retailers, check that the card hasn’t been tampered with. Thieves often scratch off and record the pin numbers of the card, then use the number to buy items online after you’ve loaded money onto it. If while examining the card you can see a PIN number, alert the clerk and get a different card.

Keep your receipt as proof of purchase as long as there is money loaded on the gift card.
Online Purchases:

Buy only from trusted internet merchants.

Check refund policies before buying.

Make sure the merchant is using a secure payment server
(the link will start with https:// ).

Don’t use a debit card, it exposes your checking account to fraud.

Always keep confirmations and/or order forms.
Shopping at Stores/Malls

Park in a well lit area.

Lock your vehicle, and keep purchased items out of sight/in the trunk.

Don’t shop alone.

Leave expensive jewelry at home.

Avoid carrying a purse or handbag; take only the cash, credit cards and identification you must have.

Make sure you get your credit card back after each purchase; never allow your credit card to leave your sight

Use ATMs only in well lit areas.