Survival guide for holiday shopping

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With Christmas and Thanksgiving fast approaching many people are gearing up to buy gifts, but while the holidays bring cheer it’s also a time for criminals to go on the hunt.

“Everyone should be happy and having a good experience, but it is really sad that people get preyed upon,” said Keenan Abner, who is gearing up to do some holiday shopping.

That’s why Keenan Abner and Alex DeJoy make sure they are a little more vigilant while shopping during the holidays.

“I am aware of the scams, but I think more so with me buying online I worry about people stealing packages,” said DeJoy, who does most of her holiday shopping online. “I always make sure the website I use is secure.”

This is the time of year the Department of Commerce and Insurance sees the most complaints.

“People should be on their guard and people shouldn’t be distracted, we find that criminals are going to prey more on people who are distracted this time of year because people are busy,” said Kevin Walters with the State Department of Commerce and Insurance

When shopping online, be careful what site you are using and what information you enter.

Social Security numbers should never be shared online, also make sure to use a secure certified website and always log off if you use a computer in a public place. Checking your bank statement on a regular basis can also help you keep track of your account activity.

“When you give strangers that info you are compromising your family’s safety and your financial safety,” said Walters. “Consumer education is the key, be aware, be alert be on guard, that is our message and that is the best way possible to have a happy holiday.”

While many people shop online, there are still ways you can be taken advantage of in person as well.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance does have a list of businesses statewide that have received complaints. Click here to view that list.