PINE BELT (WDAM) - Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood released his Holiday Shopping Safety guide Monday.
With large retail shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching, Hood urged all shoppers to shop smart and safely.
He included the following tips in his news release:
- Shop around for what is best for your needs - Just because an item is on sale, it may not be the best price. Some stores are willing to match, or even beat competitors prices. In addition, carefully consider bargain offers like Buy One, Get One Free or Free Gift with Purchase. If you don't really want or need the free or gift item, it is not a deal for you. ?
- Use coupons wisely- Coupons are helpful when they save you money on what you're already planning to buy. Be sure to check coupons for any restrictions.
- Ask about sales adjustments- If you buy an item at regular price and it goes on sale the next week, check in advance to see if you can get a credit or refund for the discounted amount. ?
- Ask about refund and return policies- Many merchants may have different refund and return policies for sale items. For example, clearance merchandise may be on final sale, meaning no refunds or exchanges. ?
- Avoid over-the-shoulder-theft– While you are completing a credit or debit transaction on a pin pad, be sure to use your hand to cover up your inserted information. “Shoulder surfing” has become a more common theft especially with mobile phones equipped with cameras and recorders. ?
- Keep an eye on your money– Carry only the cash and credit cards you absolutely need. Don't flash cash or credit cards for others to see. If your cards are lost or stolen, report the loss or theft immediately to the card issuers, and file a complaint with the Mississippi Attorney Generals Office. ?
- Prevent being pickpocketed– Whenever you are going out to a public place, only take what you need. Always store valuables in a front pocket or a secret pocket and shorten the strap on any purse or bag you carry. Avoid walking through large crowds. Refrain from rummaging through your wallet or counting money in public and pick up credit cards and other valuables off the counter as soon as the clerk returns them. ?
- Detect skimmers– Skimmers are fraud devices used on ATMs. When using an ATM, check for other cameras besides the installed bank cameras. Check to make sure the card slot and keypad are not loose. Carefully watch clerks and don’t hesitate to question multiple swipes.
For more safety tips from Hood's guide, click here.