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BBB offers tips for consumer-safe Black Friday shopping

Posted at 4:24 PM, Nov 28, 2019

LANSING, Mich. — While people are busy shopping and looking around for the best deals, criminals will also be busy trying to steal your information. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests the best way to protect yourself is knowing what to look out for.

On the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, many retailers open their doors not too long after Thanksgiving dinner. Troy Baker with the BBB West Michigan warns to be careful of who you give your information to.

Baker has a few tips like watching out for offers too good to be true, and fake websites trying to ploy consumers into purchases.

"It's really incumbent on consumers to learn as much as you can about the website you're buying from and the best advice if you see something on Facebook, is identify the item that you' re interested in that you have a history with," Baker said.

Holiday pop-up shops are also an area of caution.

"The issue becomes what do you do with returns. How do return an item when the store is no longer there when the kiosk in the mall is no longer there," Baker said.

Be careful of opening credit cards or store cards just to get better discounts or deals. Also always do research before spending money, and avoid using public WiFi not protected by a password.

Americans spent more than $6 billion online Black Friday in 2018, according to Adobe Analytics. Allbirds, expects the average American shopper to spend $550 in 2019.

People should be aware of another common rip-off tactic called drop-shipping.

Sellers set up websites to peddle products they do not keep in stock and send orders placed through their sites to various third parties to fulfill and ship the product directly to the consumer – all while charging markup-ups of up to $50 or more.

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