With the holiday shopping season gearing up, Florida Chief Financial Officer is warning people to watch out for potential scams surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
This year, according to Deloitte, Black Friday consumers are expected to spend $205 on average, up from $190 in 2021, while Cyber Monday consumers are expected to spend $218 on average, up from $175 last year.
“Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year, which makes it an opportune time for scammers to take advantage of consumers. Fraudsters are constantly coming up with new ways to pick your pocket, and the only way to combat these bad actors and not become a victim of fraud, is to know the signs of a scam. All Floridians should keep an eye on their bank accounts and monitor any suspicious activity. This is a great time of year to shop, but it is also the time to be alert,” Patronis said in a news release Wednesday.
The CFO is offering these four tips to protecting yourself from holiday shopping 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.
Visit FraudFreeFlorida.com to learn more about common scams and report fraud.