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10 tips to avoid holiday shopping scams and get a good deal

2 min read
10 tips to avoid holiday shopping scams and get a good deal

Friday was the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. While many will enjoy finding great gifts for families, scammers will take advantage of the shopping season.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is offering tips to protect yourself while shopping.

At the store

Before heading to the stores, do your research. Sales and pricing will vary among stores, and you want to find the best price.

Sellers must honor the lowest posted price for an item, including ads and the sticker price on the shelf. Make sure you are charged the correct price.

Read the fine print, because many sales exclude certain items or are for a specific amount of time.

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Know the seller’s return policy before you buy.

Keep original packaging and barcodes intact in case something needs to be returned.


Know that “buy now, pay later” policies do not have the same federal protection as credit card purchases. Read the find print and understand how payment works.

Watch out for fake websites. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Be wary of sellers who want to chat on another platform, want payment upfront or ask for a security code. 

Scammers are tricking consumers into buying pets that turn out to be fake. Verify the pet is real before you pay for it.

The new INFORM Consumers Act is a federal law that provides more information about third-party sellers. It also gives shoppers a way to report suspicious sellers. Learn more at ftc.gov.

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