BBB holiday shopping tips

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COLUMBIA - In just a little over two weeks shoppers will pack stores for Black Friday deals. With November here, the holiday shopping season has officially begun. 

Two of the busiest days of the season, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are just around the corner. 

Mike Harrison, regional director of the Missouri Better Business Bureau, said the phone will ring more frequently now that it is holiday shopping season. 

"We see an increase this time of the year on people getting scammed, asking for tips on how to protect themselves against identity theft, or protect their banking information," Harrison said. 

Harrison said shoppers should keep these tips in mind when shopping. 


  • Compare deals ahead of time using newspapers or e-mail sign ups.
  • Know the return policy because sometimes they change for days like Black Friday.
  • Keep track of your shopping bags. Take a trip and drop them off at the car if necessary.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Guard your wallet or purse. 


When it comes to swiping your card this season, either at a store or online, there are basic security tips shoppers should use. 


  • Make sure you are on a secure site. There should be an "s" following the "http" and a pad lock symbol to indicate a secure site. 
  • Update your anti-virus software.
  • Keep document proof of your orders. 
  • Pay attention to your bank statement. Check it line by line. 


Harrison said shoppers should watch their banking statements. He said hackers start with small amounts, to check if the card is working, and will then move on to larger charges.