NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – While a lot of people are doing their holiday shopping online, plenty are still heading to the stores.

As CBS2’s John Dias reported, that doesn’t always mean your information is more secure.

“I don’t genarlly buy from people unless it is coming from a legit store that I trust,” one shopper said.

That’s tip No. 1 – really know the stores you patronize this holiday season.

“Making sure that you’re shopping with a reputable company,” said Candice Clemons, who manages the Diesel store in The Shops at Columbus Circle.

Read More: Plan Ahead, Pay Cash For Holiday Shopping, Expert Says

Speaking from experience, she said the more security the store offers to its customers the better.

“I think it’s just a matter — I feel secure if the retailers verify their information on a receipt,” Clemons said.

The Better Business Bureau warns shoppers to be informed and try not to impulse buy, especially when signing up for credit cards at stores. Sometimes those additional cards can lower your credit score.

“If you’re going shopping, all you really need to do is take the cards that you absolutely need. It might just be one or two credit cards,” said Claire Rosenzweig, president of the Better Business Bureau serving the Metropolitan Area.

More: Protecting Yourself During The Holiday Shopping Season

She also said to look out when buying gift cards. Sometimes the ones you see hanging on shelves have been tampered with.

Thieves write down the information on the card. Then, you fill it with your money. But they use it before you give it as a gift.

“You can buy them through a cash register in a secure situation. You can buy them online,” Rosenzweig said. “But what you don’t want to do is buy them off the rack.”

If you have to return an item, know the store’s terms and conditions.

“If they don’t have anything posted, then what we enforce is the current law that says that you have 30 days to bring back the product,” said Lorelei Salas, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The last and probably simplest tip from the Better Business Bureau is always know where you have your wallet or purse, because there will be plenty of Grinches looking to get their hands on them.

The bureau added that you don’t have to give out too much personal information. It is not required to give your email or mailing address when shopping.


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