By Alex Lloyd Gross
Black Friday, the day when people sleep out in front of department stores hoping to get a good deal, and swindlers and crooks spend weeks planning to get you to give them your money or personal information. Here is how to avoid doing that.
1 If you get an email for a deal that is super fantastic like the fictional 40 inch tv for $55.00 all you have to do is click the link and enter your credit card info. Delete the email. It’s a scam. Even if if came from a friend and looks legitimate. By clicking the link you will be taken to a site that could steal your personal info , or even install ransom ware on your computer. There never was a television.
2 Know where your wallet or purse is at all times. Thieves count on you being excited and will stand in line, pick your pocket and you won’t know it happened until you plan to pay.
3 Check your receipt. Make sure the item actually sold for the advertised price. Some stores will tack on an additional warranty without your knowledge. Also make certain to purchase everything you need to make your new item perform as it should. Don’t forget HDMI cables or batteries.
4 Don’t fight fellow customers for anything. You have your hands on a $10.00 toaster oven and someone grabs it from you. It’s never a good idea to fight that person. chances are you will both be arrested and neither will get the item. Many large store employ off duty police just to insure that does not happen.
5 If there is a huge crowd waiting to get it and there is no organized line, you may be putting yourself in danger. 2000 people running into the store at the same time is not safe. People have been killed or injured doing this. No matter if the item is a 50 inch flat screen for $50.00.
6 If you order by mail or online, track the shipping. Make sure you are home or a neighbor can collect the package for you. Porch pirates cruise residential areas looking for packages left. Nothing is more inviting to a thief than a box that says laptop or flat screen on it,left outside and unattended.
7 When you get out of your vehicle, park it, lock it and take the keys with you, even if you are only going to be gone a minute to pick up a purchase.
8 Shred your receipts when you are sure you do not need them. Keep track of them and track your rebates. Make sure if you are buying from an Ebay seller , they have a decent rating. Make sure the product ( like a camera) is not grey market . That means it is not eligible for rebates or warranties.
9 If you are planning to stand in line outside, dress warm. Make sure you do not suffer frost bite.
10 Know the lay out of the store. The last thing you want is to go in the wrong direction and have the store move your item for “convenience” . Others will get it and you will be left out.