TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — As Floridians prepare to begin searching for holiday shopping deals, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis warned consumers to beware of potential scams on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. 

Patronis said on Tuesday that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year, making it an opportune time for scammers to take advantage of consumers. He also said Giving Tuesday can be another chance for scammers to make money off the kindness of a person’s heart. In 2022, Americans donated over $3.1 billion in 24 hours to charitable causes during Giving Tuesday, according to the CFO. 

All Floridians should keep an eye on their bank accounts and monitor any suspicious activity. Patronis offers four tips to protect residents from holiday scams:

  1. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be careful of unfamiliar merchants and be extra wary of items listed at prices well below those of other shops. The ultimate bargain may really be bogus or stolen goods.
  2. Use a credit card instead of cash or debit. Credit cards offer consumer protection if things go wrong with a purchase.
  3. Be careful of credit and coupon offers. Those last-minute deals that offer discounts in exchange for opening up a new credit account can be a trap to make you divulge financial information.
  4. Watch your account balances. Monitor your checking, savings, credit and any others for unauthorized charges or deposits. Report any suspicious activity immediately.

Visit FraudFreeFlorida.com to learn more about common scams and to report fraud in your area.