On Thursday, the holiday season will officially kick off. Last year more than 100 million people went shopping over #Thanksgiving weekend and nearly 35 million hit the stores on #ThanksgivingDay.
Whether you will be camping out to grab those outrageous door buster sales on Black Friday, supporting the mom and pop shops around your home on Small Business Saturday, or counting down the days to those special Cyber Monday deals, here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping this holiday season.
#BBB recommends following these approved tips:
- Never open any emails from unknown senders. And if you accidentally do, don’t click on any links they contain or enter any of your personal or financial information.
- If an online advertisement or a pop-up appears on your phone, be wary of too-good-to-be-true coupons or deals, especially if you’ve never heard of the retailer before.
- If you’re not expecting a package, don’t fall for emails or text messages claiming that something is undeliverable.
- If you receive a text message claiming your account has been compromised, take a deep breath and call the number on the back of your card—but don’t call the number shown in the text.
- During the holidays, it’s always a good idea to monitor your card statement regularly. Not only will this help you avoid fraudulent activity if your info is compromised, but it can also help you stay within your budget, too!
- Know the advertiser. Some of the best deals are only available online, but be careful. It’s easy for a fake site to mimic a famous retailer’s website, so make sure you are shopping on a legitimate site. Check unfamiliar stores or websites at bbb.org.
- Sign up for email alerts. Many stores release their best Black Friday deals to people who have signed up to receive their email. Just make sure it’s the real business and not a scammer. Red flags include receiving such an email when you never shopped with the business or never signed up for email alerts.
- Ask for gift receipts and save warranty information. A gift receipt can be tucked into a gift item so that the recipient can return or exchange a gift that’s not quite right. Be sure to pass along information about returns, exchanges, repairs or warranties to the recipient. Keep in mind that retailers are permitted to set their own return/exchange policies.