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Shop safe in-person and online this holiday

From Kim Harwood, Executive Director, Edmonton Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce

As we enter the holiday shopping season, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is sharing tips to keep consumers safe.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales can be a great way to score deals on gifts and big-ticket items, potential scammers and thieves will try to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. Tips follow for both in-person and online safe shopping.

In-Person Black Friday Safe Shopping Tips:

* Keep your purse in sight and your wallet in your front pocket.

* Take only one credit card with you. If your wallet gets stolen or misplaced, you'll only need to cancel one card. Avoid carrying a lot of cash. Put your credit card back after every purchase.

* Create a shopping list & set a budget. Avoid getting caught up in the Friday frenzy. If you spot a great deal before Black Friday, buy it.

* Try not to grab more than you can carry. Chances are you'll forget your wallet or purse or be unable to stop a thief from snatching it.

* Have your keys in hand as you approach your vehicle. Make sure you check both around the vehicle and the back seats before getting into the car.

* Don't leave store bags or other valuables visible in the vehicle while you are shopping. Lock them in the trunk or take them home after buying them.

* Cover the keypad when entering your PIN while purchasing items or getting money from the ATM.

Online Shopping and Cyber Monday Tips:

* Research. Read product reviews, check our website for Business Profiles, look at the sales flyers and ads, compare prices, and look for early promotions and "flash-sales."

* Always ask for a gift receipt. This way, the recipient can return or exchange a gift if it's not just right.

* Protect your computer. A computer should always have the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a secure firewall.

* Protect your personal information. Take time to read the site's privacy policy and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If there isn't one posted, it should be taken as a red flag that personal information may be sold to others without permission.

* Have a secure mobile device. While online shopping, be sure you're using the most recently updated version of apps and operating systems on the phone. Also, actively manage your location services, Bluetooth, microphone, and camera, and make sure apps use them appropriately. You can manage the number of access apps that have your information in your phone's settings.

* Avoid using public Wi-Fi while viewing sensitive information. Public Wi-Fi is vulnerable to thieves and fraudsters looking to steal your info. When in stores or restaurants, avoid using banking or other apps that access sensitive personal information.

* Watch out for fake customer reviews. Fake reviews are rampant on many retail sites. Look for repeating or duplicate customer reviews on sites that offer products sold by third parties.

For more information on safe holiday shopping, visit

This story was posted on 2023-11-17 10:37:12
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