Shop smart this holiday season (set for Thursday am)

courtesy: MGN Online

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Shopping for the best deals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday … any day for that matter … should be done with care.

“Consumers are already getting inundated with pre-black Friday deals and this will only amp up as we head into the holiday weekend,” South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said. “We just encourage consumers to be cautious when doing holiday shopping and just remember if it sounds too good to be true, it is.”

Tips on Holiday Shopping:

• Check the refund and return policies for restrictions and exceptions
• When buying gift cards, check for fees and expiration dates that apply
• Read the fine print
• Double check delivery dates
• Keep your receipts to make returns and exchanges easier
• Review warranties
• Compare prices
• Check shipping and handling fees

Along with those traditional shopping methods consumers also need to proceed with caution when dealing with online retailers.

Online Shopping Tips:

• Consumers using the internet to find the perfect gift should avoid using email links. These links can appear to be from a known business but may be coming from a different company altogether
• Always ensure you are shopping on a secure site
• Use credit cards for online purchases. If there is a problem with the purchase it is much easier to dispute the charges
• Be leery of businesses who are offering deep discounts. If it sounds too good to true, then it likely is, so shop with reputable sellers
• Screenshot your order confirmation for reference. Websites get flooded and orders can get lost

Smartphone Shopping Tips:

• Be sure your computer and mobile devices are current with all software updates
• Be cautious of social media scams including fake Twitter and Facebook pages. Stick to the sites that you are familiar with and do not click on unfamiliar links
• Research price comparison apps. There are many malicious mobile apps just ready to be downloaded
• Do not download apps from unknown sources

If you have any additional questions, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office at 1-800-300-1986 or consumerhelp@state.sd.us .