Tips to avoid Black Friday scams

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Black Friday has become a national past-time, and the high demand for sales has the shopping frenzy starting earlier. But you may want to be on the lookout for potential scams.

Luckily, there are safeguards in place to help protect you from fraud this season.

1) Be sure to comparison shop - A sale price isn't always the best price.
2) Make sure you understand a retailer's return policy on purchased items.
3) As for a gift receipt to include with presents.
4) When you're ready to pay for an item, choose the credit card option over debit, since most credit cards typically have some sort of protection.

When purchasing items online, make sure the website is secure. Cyber experts are warning consumers to "think before they click."

Because many retailers now have chip card readers, fraud at bricks-and-mortar stores is down. Now, scammers have shifted their efforts online, according to the Better Business Bureau in Florida.

When buying from a website, make sure it’s secure by looking for https in the address (the extra “s” is for “secure”) and for a lock symbol, experts say.

Another scam this time of year comes in the form of an email. It will say a shipper is trying to deliver a package, or that a package is undeliverable. If a consumer doesn’t remember providing an email address to the shipper, it could be a phishing attack or an attempt to steal passwords, personal information or even your identity.

A solution would be to find the shipping service’s website and phone number to verify the package delivery, he said.