Be cautious this season while holiday shopping

Attorney General Curtis Hill is warning Hoosiers to be alert and aware while holiday shopping. Scams and theft around the holidays are more prevalent than ever.
“During the holidays, we all look forward to celebrating such blessings as love, joy and peace,” Attorney General Hill said. “Unfortunately, though, there are always schemers among us trying to find ways to take advantage of others and rob them of their hard-earned resources. Hoosiers must be cautious this shopping season when making purchases big or small.”
Attorney General Hill offered the following tips:
When you go shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, conceal your purchases in the trunk of your vehicle rather than leaving them in plain sight through the windows.
Secure your home deliveries. Beware of “porch pirates.” If you have packages arriving at your home and are not going to be there to receive them, make sure you have a place where they can be hidden from view on your porch. Or see if you can have the packages delivered to a secure location where you can pick them up when you are able. Consider teaming up with trusted neighbors to keep watch on one another’s properties. Security systems with cameras are always an option.
If a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Be skeptical of deals and ask questions as needed. Be sure to read the fine print to make sure you are purchasing exactly what you want.
Closely check the emails that you receive for holiday deals to make sure that they are from the companies they claim to represent and are not from scammers or imposters. Proactively go to companies’ official websites yourself rather than just clicking on a link emailed to you.
To protect your personal information, don’t make online purchases while using public Wi-Fi.
Never make a hurried decision. Scam artists want to pressure you into a making a quick decision to buy from them. Slow down and check out the story for yourself first.
Make purchases using a credit card if you can. Always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize. You can reverse charges or dispute a charge with your credit card company if necessary. It is more difficult to dispute charges on your debit card or obtain your cash back.
If you are purchasing gift cards, make sure you know the expiration date, as well as the terms that apply to the card.
As always, if you believe you have been subjected to a scam, please file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. A consumer complaint can be filed at in.gov/attorneygeneral or you can contact the Office of the Attorney General at 1-800-382-5516.

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