Florida Attorney General issues consumer alert for holiday shopping season

An online shopper looks for a good deal on Cyber Monday
An online shopper looks for a good deal on Cyber Monday(KOLO)
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 11:27 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert with Cyber Monday shopping safety tips to help shoppers prevent identity theft and other online shopping pitfalls this holiday season.

According to the National Retail Federation, 60% of consumers say they plan to purchase holiday items online this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping sales have increased, and consumers will continue to utilize the convenience of online shopping for Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday season.

“However, with convenience comes risk,” Attorney General Moody says. “Taking steps to protect yourself online this holiday season will help you avoid scams, and it will help us build a stronger, safer, Florida.”

Moody provided the following tips for a safer online shopping experience:

  • Ensuring the web browser being used has a secure connection before submitting payment information while ordering online. A padlock should appear in the address bar if the session is secure;
  • Using a credit card for online transactions instead of a debit card. Both methods allow for charge disputes; however, with a debit card the purchase is immediately deducted from the bank account and may take days or weeks to reverse the charge;
  • Knowing that some debit and credit card providers offer one-time card numbers to be used for online transactions for further protection. Information on whether a particular card company offers this service is located on the company’s website;
  • Creating strong passwords for online accounts using a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters;
  • Limiting the number of companies that possess personal information; and
  • Avoiding ads, coupons or email solicitations from unknown senders—if the deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

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