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November 18, 2020
Contact: 212-417-5801
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Seven-Part Shopping Series to Assist Consumers Navigating this Year’s Pandemic Holiday Season

Tips to Help Consumers Adjust and Ensure a Safe and Happy Holiday Shopping Season

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection today announced the rollout of a seven-part consumer alert series to help New Yorkers navigate new holiday shopping pitfalls. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most experts predict this year’s online holiday shopping season may top records – both in sales and in scams. In the coming weeks, consumers will receive guidance on equitable pricing requirements, credit cards, gift cards, refunds, warranties and data privacy.

“This holiday season, we want all New Yorkers to stay safe and understand their rights. Online shopping provides convenience and helps people maintain social distancing but is not without risks,” said New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, who oversees the Division of Consumer Protection.  “Consumers need to be aware of the New York laws that protect them, and ways they can protect themselves while shopping this holiday season.”

Package tracking and delivery scams are rife during the holidays. It is important for consumers to keep track of their packages and note any issues right away directly through the merchandiser’s websites. 

Another common scam this time of year is scammers using phishing emails and impersonating delivery companies (e.g. UPS, USPS, FedEx), banking and credit card companies, and other large retailers (e.g. Netflix, PayPal, eBay, Amazon), which often include links to sites attempting to steal your information.  Always open a browser and type the company’s website address yourself instead of clicking on a link in an email.

Shop safely this holiday season with these additional tips:

Know Your Rights:

Savvy Online Shopping Tips:

Tips for Using Credit Cards Online:

Online Privacy Protection Tips:

If you encounter a marketplace problem or are concerned about a scam, you are encouraged to file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Protection.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the State’s consumers. The Consumer Helpline, 800-697-1220, is available to assist consumers Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm. Consumer complaints can be filed anytime online at the Division website, To view consumer alerts, consumers can visit The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at