Practice safe shopping

If you’re anything like me, you are consumed with Christmas shopping right now. I am the Queen of Returns so I sat up straight in my chair when I heard Dave Shallcross from the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General spoke last week at the Penn State Cooperative Extension Holiday workshop.


Shallcross had lots of shopping tips. Here are just a few:

Before you buy, know the store’s return/refund policy. It should be posted clearly at the register.


Read coupons carefully. When there are special offers, read the fine print and look for exclusions.

Shallcross said, “The large print giveth and the small print taketh away.”


On a budget? Who isn’t? Before you go the store, make a list. As you buy, put the price next to it on the list. You could get carried away buying 14 items and 50 percent off, but are you staying within budget?


Every store has a credit card these days. Know the rate before you sign and learn the phrase, “No thanks.”


If you’re shopping online, only trust  websites that verify the url. Before you enter your credit card you should be at a site that begins with an https:. If it doesn’t, do not enter the data.


Here’s the best part. Before you use your credit card you can contact the company for a virtual account number. The number is scrambled so that no else can pick it up.


Pretty cool.


Gotta go. Have quite a few emails in my inbox for special sales. Free shipping. Have a busy weekend ahead of me.

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