Holiday shopping: Securing your financial info

Holiday shopping: Securing your financial info

SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - The list is made and you've checked it twice. Now, the pressure is on to get those last-minute gifts, but don't worry, you're not alone.

The National Retail Federation, estimates consumers to spend anywhere between $678.75 billion to $682 billion – up 3.6 to four percent from last year. This number consists of holiday retail sales in November and December – with the exception of vehicles, gasoline and restaurant purchases.

Before you hit the stores or your keyboard, Edward Jones financial advisor, Gabriel Thibodeaux says you need to stay vigilant.

"With the final days of Christmas shopping many are feeling the pressure of making those last-minute purchases," he said. "However, it's important to understand that no retailer is ever going to need your social security number so it's important to keep that protected."

The Federal Trade Commission advises:

  • Pay by credit card – your transaction will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Under this law, you can dispute charges under certain circumstances and temporarily withhold payment while the creditor investigates them.
  • Protect your password – whether you plan to shop online or in-store making sure you have a secure Wi-Fi connection if shopping online or keeping track of where you’re sliding your card and inserting your pin can make a big difference.
  • Read sale ads carefully – so you don’t waste your time and know exactly what you’re going to get.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi – use a secure Wi-Fi connection to make sure your information stays protected and shop through secure web pages and stores you trust.
  • Keep your records.

Thibodeaux said even though everyone is busy shopping, consumers should take some time to think about the future.

"As many people are spending this time of year, it's also important to be conscious of setting some goals for 2018," He said. "Just as many people set health goals, it's also important to set a few financial goals."

?For more information and tips click HERE or HERE.

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