How to protect yourself from Black Friday scams

Florida’s financial leaders don’t want you to become a victim

Better Business Bureau warns consumers of ‘going out of business’ online shopping scam

We all love a good deal. But some good deals are just too good to be true.

As more Floridians than ever turn to online shopping, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from fraud and scams.

“Scammers are constantly using new tricks to steal your hard-earned money, but the best defense is to know the warning signs of a scam before you fall victim,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “I encourage all Floridians to stay alert when shopping this holiday season and be on the lookout for potential scams.”

Patronis said it’s key to monitor your bank accounts for suspicious activity and always closely guard your personal and financial information.

4 Tips to Protect Yourself from Black Friday Scams

  • If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be careful of unfamiliar merchants and be extra wary of items listed at prices well below those of other shops. The ultimate bargain may really be bogus or stolen goods.
  • Use a credit card instead of cash or debit. Credit cards offer consumer protection if things go wrong with a purchase.
  • Be careful of credit and coupon offers. Those last-minute deals that offer discounts in exchange for opening up a new credit account can be a trap to make you divulge financial information.
  • Watch your account balances. Monitor your checking, savings, credit and any others for unauthorized charges or deposits. Report any suspicious activity immediately.

To report fraud or learn about ways to protect yourself from scams, visit

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.