As residents head out in search of that perfect gift this season, they are being asked to keep some safety tips top of mind before braving the malls. Unfortunately fraudulent activity can be prevalent this time of year, and the DRPS is reminding consumers to be mindful of what they are purchasing and from whom. Here are some tips to avoid purchasing counterfeit merchandise:
Do your research and buy from trusted retailers: Take some time to find out what you're buying and who you're buying it from. Listen to word of mouth, check references and get insight from experienced and trusted retailers
Compare the price: If it's too good to be true, it probably is. Everyone loves a deal, but make sure the sale on a quality product is reasonable and not alarmingly low, which could be a potential red flag for a stolen item
Look for the flaws: There are usually subtle differences in the packaging of counterfeit goods. They include spelling mistakes, colour variations or quality of packaging. Quality is often compromised and the product may not even work when you get it home. Items sold in packages should not be sold individually
While shopping, residents should also be aware of distraction thefts. They usually occur in busy places and begin when a suspect starts asking the victim or store employee a series of random questions. This gives a second suspect an opportunity to steal merchandise, purses or wallets from other shoppers. The suspects have often left the store before the theft is detected.
Its also important to never leave purses or wallets unattended, and dont leave large purchases in plain view in your parked vehicle while you head back in to shop.
If you are a victim of a fraud or theft, please report it immediately to police by calling 1-888-579-1520.
Holiday Shopping (JPG file, 193.3K bytes)