How to safely online shop for a safe and happy holiday season

ABC50 NOW

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NEW YORK (WWTI) — ‘Tis the season for holiday shopping. But consumers will continue to be at risk for annual safety risks.

As experts across the nation are predicting a record-breaking online holiday shopping season, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection announced a seven-part consumer alert series to help navigate shopping obstacles.

The Division is set to rollout guidance on equitable pricing requirements, credit cards, gift cards, refunds, warranties and data privacy.

The Division of Consumer Protection also issued guidance for New Yorkers to stay safe while shopping online including focusing on package tracking and delivery scams and phishing emails that contain scams.

Online shopping safety tips include the following.

Know your rights

  • All orders must be delivered within 30 days under the Mail Order Rule
  • Consumers must be alerted if orders are delayed
  • If consumers cannot be reached for consent to an order delay, a company must refund the customer for the unshipped merchandise

Online Shopping Tips

  • Shop on trusted sites
  • Beware of third-party vendors
  • Conduct research on new sites or retailers
  • Read product specifications
  • Comparison shop
  • Protect individual privacies

Online credit card use

  • Check website’s encryption
  • Don’t keep credit cards on file
  • Designate one credit card and one email for online shopping

Online privacy protection

  • Protect passwords
  • Avoid autofill
  • Check social media logins
  • Secure connections
  • “Don’t become the product”

New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado commented on the importance of focusing on online safety during the holiday season.

“This holiday season, we want all New Yorkers to stay safe and understand their rights. Online shopping provides convenience and helps people maintain social distancing but is not without risks,” said Rosado.  “Consumers need to be aware of the New York laws that protect them, and ways they can protect themselves while shopping this holiday season.”

Those who believe they have experienced a marketplace problem or scam are encouraged to file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Protection.

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