BLACK FRIDAY & CYBER MONDAY SCAM ALERT: AG Balderas Warns New Mexico Shoppers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 22, 2017

Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216

Albuquerque, NM – On the eve of Thanksgiving, and with Black Friday starting earlier and earlier, Attorney General Hector Balderas warns New Mexicans to protect themselves against scammers as they hit the Animas Valley Mall in Farmington, Albuquerque Uptown, plazas in Mesilla and Santa Fe, and shops across the state. Attorney General Balderas issued a Scam Alert regarding scams and deceptive advertising while shopping at stores or online sites this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“New Mexicans are the most generous and loving people, but I want them to be on guard as they shop for deals on Black Friday and Cyber Mondayfor their family and friends,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “Scammer and thieves love the holidays as they seek to prey on New Mexicans’ goodwill, but I am urging our citizens to be vigilant as they search for those perfect gifts.”

Attorney General Balderas warned New Mexico consumers to be on the lookout for:

The Bait and Switch: Take retailers’ advertisements to the store with you. Unscrupulous retailers may advertise goods at low prices, but when you get to the store the price may be higher than advertised or the product might not be there at all.

Skimming Devices: During the holidays, skimming devices can be installed on retailers’ registers. Skimming devices are more commonly placed on gas pumps or ATMs to capture data from the magnetic stripe on the back of credit and debit cards. If something looks out of place or easily wiggles, use a different ATM, gas pump or register. If you believe you’ve been a victim of a skimming device, call the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division at 505-717-3500.

“Cybersquatting” Sites: Scammers try to impersonate well-known websites by inverting characters or slightly altering the name of a well-known website. The copycat sites may look
similar to the real website – and they can steal your credit information. Carefully read website addresses to ensure you are shopping on a legitimate website.

Copycat and Fraudulent Websites: Fake websites set up by scammers target online shoppers during the holiday season. Sometimes appearing as ad results in online searches, these sites may contain malware or steal inputted credit card data. Avoid making purchases from untrustworthy sites.

Security Certificates: To ensure you are shopping on a secure website, make sure the website begins with “https” and has a small padlock icon next to the webpage address. Keep your computer, tablet or smartphone up-to-date and install security software.

Retailers Who Request Payment through Wire Transfer: Legitimate online businesses will not use wire transfer to collect payment for purchases. This is a sure sign of a scam. New Mexicans who believe they have been victims of a holiday scam can file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General Consumer Protection Division by calling (505) 717-3500 or by
visiting www.nmag.gov.

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