Consumer Alert: Parents plan to spend $661 per child on back-to-school items

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Your consumer alert today concerns back-to-school shopping. It’s the second busiest shopping season of the year, and the New York State Division of Consumer Protection is warning parents about common scams to look out for.

You may already be hitting the stores in search of new clothes, backpacks and of course all the pencils, paper and protractors on that infamous school supply list. According to Deloitte’s back-to-school survey, parents plan to spend on average $661 per child. And while most people do at least some of their shipping online, more than a third said they plan to do most or all of it online.

So, here are some of the New York State Division of Consumer Protection’s tips on how to shop safely.

• Use a credit card online not your debit card. Your credit card provides more protection against fraud.

• Protect your identity online. Look for the padlock in the web address which tells you the site is secure.

• Download retail apps from only trusted sources. Cybercriminals are designing apps that look and perform like legitimate apps but they’re designed to steal your personal information.

• Always know who your seller is. Legitimate retailers like Walmart and Amazon allow third-party sellers to sell on their sites. And those sellers sometimes have inferior products with lousy return policies. I’ve investigated third-party sellers extensively. Click here for more information on third-party sellers.

And click here for information on protecting your child’s identity as the new school begins.