County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:
December 4, 2018

Holiday shopping tips and reminders

Consumer Affairs offers ways to protect yourself and your purchases

FREEHOLD, NJ – The holidays are fast-approaching. Whether you like to dash through the mall or search for online deals, the Monmouth County Division of Consumer Affairs and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have a present for you – shopping tips to help budget and protect your personal information.

“The Division of Consumer Affairs protects against consumer frauds and dishonest, deceitful business practices by enforcing New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and other regulations,” said Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Division of Consumer Affairs. “Beyond the winter holidays, the Consumer Affairs staff is available to assist County residents who believe they may be victims of fraud or unfair business.”

Before you shop, consider the following advice from the FTC:

· Make a list of not only items you would like to purchase, but also incidentals such as wrapping paper, cards and dining out.

· In stores, make sure the scanned prices for your purchases are correct. Overcharges cost time and money, especially when they are not noticed right away.

· Before buying anything based on an online review, search for information from a trusted source. Browsing the internet for different prices may help keep you on budget.

· If you use your smartphone or computer to shop for deals, be weary of unexpected emails, texts or notifications that may flood your device. Fraudulent websites will advertise to consumers claiming bargains on a variety of brand names.

· Save your receipts. When online shopping, keep copies of order numbers, refund policies, shipping costs and warranties.

· Be mindful of warranties. Even though it is not required by law, warranties come with the majority of major purchases.

· Have packages delivered to a secure location or if someone is home. If no one is home, have the package delivered to work or see if a neighbor can be on the look-out.

“Monmouth County consumers contact us to say a favorite restaurant or nail salon is under new ownership and they cannot use their gift certificate. Another example would be a consumer may find that the furniture store where they recently placed an order is now empty,” said Annmarie DeVito, director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “The Consumer Affairs staff can provide assistance and help County residents resolve all types of consumer-related issues.”

Information about consumer affairs programs, complaint histories of businesses and lemon law booklets can be found on the County website at, by calling 732-431-7900 or by emailing The office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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