Shopping has gone from hours of browsing department stores and little shops for weeks and weeks before Christmas to a simple click of the mouse online. While it seems shopping is a lot easier these days the penalty for  being stupid with your money comes at a much higher price for  those that aren't careful with shopping online or in stores.

Louisiana's Attorney General's office reminds shoppers that while online shopping is certainly less stressful, you still need to take precautions.

"Make sure you keep those credit cards and debit cards in a secure place and when you're shopping online, make sure that you're using a secure website from a legitimate retailer."

Sam Pleasant is a spokesperson with the Attorney General's office and her comments were reported by the  Louisiana Radio Network.

Some other suggestions Pleasant makes to shoppers is to be sure and safe guard all PIN numbers. Even if you're punching in your PIN at the checkout line or shopping online it's always a good idea to have a good idea of who may be  monitoring your moves. The AG's office also reminds shoppers be on the lookout for fake websites. Many scammers create websites that look like actual  retail sites. It's always best to log in directly to the  merchants published website.

The Attorney General's office also reminds you of the old adage, if it appears to good to be true, then it probably is. Be safe and smart when you shop in person and online. It's always a good idea to regularly scan your statements and monitor your accounts for any fraudulent activity too.