Tips to protect your identity during the shopping rush

CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) — When the big shopping weekend gets here, there will be a scramble to land a good deal! But don’t act too fast.  You don’t want to forget about how easy it is to get caught up in a financial mess when you’re moving quick to get a deal. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself.

You’re probably getting them already! Alerts in your e-mail with the steals and deals hitting store shelves. This time of year comes with added pressure to act fast or you’ll miss out but consumer experts at the Better Business Bureau want to remind you to make safety your first priority.  An example, be careful not to shop online using public Wi-Fi. Your personal information can be easily stolen that way.

In all the excitement of scooping a good deal remember to ask about the stores return policy.

“They might not accept for example, items that were bought at a very deep discount, or a clearance item, they just may say no,” said Howard Schwartz with the Connecticut BBB.

On Cyber Monday remember to only shop on secured sites. You can look for “https” in the address bar or the padlock next to the websites URL and whether it’s online or in store: remember to pay using a credit card rather than debit.

“After a data breach for example, if your debit card number is stolen that money is coming right out of your bank account and you’re going to have to fight to get it back, if you get it back at all,” Schwartz said.

Data breaches do happen this time of year. Remember in 2013 Target was hacked around Black Friday, compromising 40 million credit and debit cards.

Also, one we see every year, remember to keep your items out of site when you have them in the car. Every year we see break-ins and stolen gifts.

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