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HKQ Firm News

Oh, you better watch out: Online shopping

HKQ Law Consumer Related Attorney, Jim ShoemakerDecember 12, 2016 - Attorney Jim Shoemaker - One of the first known web purchases took place in 1994 – a pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese from Pizza Hut. A year later, opened for business.

Online shopping has since grown into a retail mainstay, offering many benefits such as convenience, better selection, and great deals. There are, however, risks – namely identity theft and financial fraud. Fortunately, Jim Shoemaker, Attorney at HKQ Law notes that “there are steps you can take to protect yourself when shopping online”.

Online shopping offers many benefits. Such as convenience, better selection, and great deals. There are, however, risks – namely identity theft and financial fraud. Fortunately, Jim Shoemaker, Attorney at HKQ Law notes that “there are steps you can take to protect yourself when shopping online”.

Do business with a reputable merchant.

Make sure that you are dealing with an established vendor before supplying any personal or financial information. Some malicious websites appear to be legitimate. Check the domain name (Internet address) that appears at the top of your browser. Beware of any site whose name has even the slightest change ­– extra words or letters, misspellings – from a legitimate website. Also note any unusual extensions at the end of the address such as “.mn”, which can indicate a foreign country. (In this case, Mongolia.) If you’re on an unfamiliar website, read reviews to see if other consumers’ experience with the site. But be skeptical of reviews that lack detail, or are too positive. Avoid any website that doesn't provide a physical address, or a phone number, which can be verified.

Use safe payment options.

Don’t pay via wire transfer, especially if the payment is being sent overseas. Use credit cards. Laws limit your liability for fraudulent credit card charges. You may not have the same level of protection for your debit cards, which draw money directly from your bank account. You can minimize potential losses by using a single, low-limit credit card to make all of your online purchases. If your card requires a pin, never share it with anyone.

Protect your personal and financial information.

Check to be sure the website is security enabled. Make sure that addresses of ordering pages always begin with "https://" instead of just "http://" The "s" means it is secure. Limit the type of business you conduct over open public Wi-Fi connections. If you create an account with an online merchant, use a strong password.

Never give out your social security number as a verification for any type of purchase. Make sure your bank has your current email address and phone number so they can reach you if there is any suspicious activity. Let your bank know if you will be traveling outside of your area, and check your account balance frequently. Report any unusual activity immediately.

Read the website’s privacy policy.

Find out how your information will be stored and whether it will be shared with third parties.

Be cautious about incredible bargains.

Research prices. Similar items typically fall into a general price range. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers use ridiculously low prices just to obtain personal and financial information.

Keep your devices “clean”.

Take steps to make sure all your web-connected devices ? including PCs, smartphones and tablets ? are free from malware and infections. Don’t download files or click on links from unfamiliar sources.

Beware of bogus emails.

Scammers may attempt to gather information by sending emails requesting that you confirm purchase or account information. Don’t respond to emails unless you’re sure that they’re legitimate. "Scammer grammar" – frequent misspellings and grammatical errors should always be a red flag. When in doubt, throw it out.

Check your bank statements.

Keep a record of your purchases and copies of confirmation pages, so you compare them to your statements. If there is a discrepancy, report it immediately.

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at or by calling (800) 760-1529.



As Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn addresses the concerns raised by COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients, employees and friends of the firm remain our top priority.

These are very difficult and scary times and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and symptom free. We recognize that so many of you are understandably anxious about your health, the economic impact of this pandemic and all of the consequences of social isolation.

We also recognize that many of you are anxious about how the coronavirus is impacting the Court systems, our firm and your cases. Although all of our offices are closed, our firm has remained fully operational and we have initiated procedures that allow all of our attorneys and staff to work remotely from their homes. Each of us and our staff will respond to any emails and calls about your cases as quickly as possible.

Our Federal and State Courts have instituted significant changes in their calendars as a result of the coronavirus. Although most courthouses are closed to the public, and Hearings and Trials will be delayed for some time, there are matters that can proceed telephonically and by video. Despite these changes in the Court calendars, we are working diligently on your cases and are determined to do whatever we possibly can to assure an early and just recovery for you and your loved ones. Even under these difficult circumstances, we believe that "Nobody will work harder for you than we will."

With regard to new potential clients, we are not in a position to have an in-person new client meeting, but we will be conducting these initial meetings via phone. New potential clients should call us for a free telephone consultation at (570) 287-3000.


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