Charleston, WV (WOAY) – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reminds consumers to be careful, shop wisely, and protect their personal information as the holiday shopping season closes in.
Attorney General Morrisey suggests consumers limit their use of debit cards and be aware of fraudulent websites or coupons resembling legitimate ones.
Credit Cards provide the best protection to dispute unauthorized charges or purchased items that do not arrive as promised.
However, much like cash, debit cards do not have special protections to safeguard finances.
Anyone shopping in-store should leave Social Security cards and other non-essential information at home, lock presents away in the trunk, watch for skimming devices, and use an RFID-blocking sleeve to protect financial data from electronic pickpockets.
Online shoppers should look for spelling mistakes,low-quality images and ensure URL addresses match the known retailers’ websites to help consumers identify fraudulent websites and coupon offers.
Consumers should utilize secure payment systems, avoid money transfers to unknown people and ensure any payment website starts with “https://” as the “s” indicates a secure page.
Anyone who suspects they are a victim of a scam while shopping should call the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or visit the office online at www.ago.wv.gov.