Phila. D.A. warns shoppers of Black Friday scams

PHILADELPHIA - November 20, 2012

"There is always somebody looking to separate you from your money," said District Attorney Seth Williams in a statement. "The best course of action is prevention. Many thieves choose their victims because the thieves see an opportunity. If you take away the opportunity, chances are you won't become a victim."

The D.A.'s office says it is monitoring several new scams this year, and warns consumers to be on the lookout for the following:

Used gift cards - Cards reported as stolen can later be disabled, leaving you with a worthless piece of plastic.

"One day only" bargain e-mails - If you receive any unsolicited Black Friday e-mail, don't click the links, and don't give out your credit card number.

Fake auctions/classified ads - Make sure the seller advertising the product is legitimate. Do a Google search of their name, username, e-mail address, or anything that might point to something suspicious.

Steeply discounted electronics – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, the D.A. warns. There are dozens of "fake" online electronics stores that don't have anything at all to sell. They're only out to get your credit card number.

Parking lot bait-and-switch - Never buy electronics from strangers that approach you in a parking lot. It's always a scam.

Authorities are also advising people NOT to use debit cards for purchase things online, big-ticket items, or at restaurants or gas stations. They suggest you use credit cards instead.

RELATED: More safety tips posted on the Philadelphia District Attorney's website

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