Protecting Yourself from Fraud on Black Friday

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And for a lot of people that means gearing up for the big Black Friday sales. However, recent events have a lot of people wonder how safe it is to shop - both online and in person. So how can you stay safe and enjoy all those savings? We have some tips for you. This week we'll be talking about shopping in person on Black Friday. Next week we'll discuss staying safe when shopping online on Cyber Monday.

Cash Only
The fool-proof way to avoid identity theft or fraud when shopping is to use cash. Many people swear by cash only, saying it no only protects them from fraud but from overspending as well. However, this isn't always feasible for everyone. It can be a different kind of dangerous to carry around enough cash for the big purchases that are often made on Black Friday.

Use Credit Card instead of Debit

Using a credit card  versus a debit card can offer more protection if you are hacked when shopping online. Under the Fair Credit Bill, consumers are responsible for up to $50 of fraudulent charges. Some banks offer similar protection if you use their debit cards, but it's not the same at every bank. It can change if you don't catch it and report it within a certain time-frame. So if you're purchasing big ticket items it can be safer to use a credit card.

Don't have a credit card? Many debit cards are now supported by Visa. This gives you the same rights as a Visa credit card holder. That means you can choose to run it as credit at the store and have more protection. Remember this can mean that your purchases may not show up on your account right away.

Use Common Sense

  • Like most things in life, common sense can be your best defense. 
  • Don't use your card at machines where the card slot looks loose or damaged. This can mean that someone has been tampering with the machine. 
  • Keep your card and cash in a secure location. Pickpockets are prevalent during the holiday season. 
  • Don't leave your purse unattended. We know, this one seems like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to get distracted and step away from your cart for 'just a minute.' 
  • Check your bank account before and after you shop and monitor it closely for a few days after.
Image found here

Don't miss next week's blog when we discuss tips for staying safe while shopping online - just in time for Cyber Monday! 

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