Black Friday, Cyber Monday Safe Shopping Tips

November 29, 2019

Here are safe holiday shopping tips from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody:

  • When shopping online it is often wise to pay with a credit card instead of a debit card, if possible. Both payment methods allow you to dispute a charge if the merchandise never arrives or is different from what was ordered. However, with a debit card, the purchase is already deducted from your bank account and it may take days or weeks for your bank to reverse the charge.
  • When ordering online, ensure that the web browser has a secure connection before inputting or submitting payment information. In the address bar, a padlock should appear if your session is secure.
  • Some debit and credit card providers offer one-time card numbers to be used for online transactions to further protect their cardholders. Log in to your account or contact your card provider to see if it offers this service.
  • When shopping online there are often additional costs such as shipping and handling. Be sure to account for such additional charges when comparing prices across retailers or when making the choice between an online purchase or an instore purchase.
  • Keep your receipts and be sure you understand retailers’ return policies and periods so you can return any unwanted item(s) for a full refund.
  • Some retailers offer layaway plans or other payment options to allow shoppers to pay for items in installments or at a later date. Before agreeing to such a plan, be sure to ask whether the retailer charges a fee for its program and whether payments and any fees are refundable if the purchase is canceled or returned.
  • When purchasing gift cards, check whether there is an additional activation fee, and provide the activation receipt to the recipient. Additionally, consider the retailer’s financial situation before buying a gift card. If the retailer closes or declares bankruptcy, the recipient may not be able enjoy the card’s value.
  • Shop with retailers that you are familiar with or have done business with in the past. If shopping with a new retailer, check with the Better Business Bureau at to determine whether other customers have filed complaints against them


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