Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and deals are happening right now.

Because of the high propensity of scams that occur during these holidays, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt offers these tips to avoid falling victim to common scams while you’re shopping for the best deal.

Tips for Black Friday:

  • Some retailers may inflate the prices ahead of Black Friday to create an illusion of a drastic price cut.  Research the regular price of items to check how much will actually be saved.
  • Be aware that price matching policies may be suspended by some retailers between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • Be wary of unexpected emails that claim to contain coupons with significant discounts and ask for personal information.  Do not click on suspicious links.  These may contain malware to compromise your identity.
  • Read the fine print at the bottom of sales ads, as sales may be limited to certain time periods, brands, or quantities.

Tips for Cyber Monday:

  • Avoid websites with odd or incorrect spelling of legitimate companies.  Domain names that include hyphens are often red flags.
  • Beware of bogus websites promising unbelievable deals.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be wary of “delivery failure” or “order confirmation” emails for items you did not order.  These may be used to gain a consumer’s personal information.
  • Use a credit card for online orders.  It is easier to dispute and mediate fraudulent charges with a credit card than a debit card.
  • Use strong passwords for credit cards and bank accounts.