'Hot' products to avoid online

Retail theft is on the rise, but not from hard pressed consumers looking to make ends meet. Rather, organized groups or gangs are hitting stores, stealing large quantities and reselling the goods, often online.

Anyone looking for a deal should be wary, a lot of those too good to be true prices, really are. Popular product categories like electronics are popular "hot" items, but health and beauty products and pharmaceutical items are increasingly being stolen and resold.

The National Retail Federation issued a helpful alert this week along with a detailed list of products, including many popular brand names.

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Buying these products is risky. Shoplifting rings aren't monitored or licensed, don't store perishable products properly and can present some serious health problems. Gangs steal and stockpile products, and it's pretty unlikely they're being kept in a controlled environment.

Joe LaRocca, NRF senior asset protection advisor, said in a press release, "Most stolen merchandise is not stored properly and could expose unsuspecting shoppers or their children to a host of risks from spoiled baby formula and pain medication to inaccurate results from diabetic test strips or pregnancy tests."

NRF's most recent list includes:
  • Abreva
  • Advil
  • Aleve
  • Alli weight loss pills
  • Benadryl
  • Braun toothbrushes & replacement heads
  • Bumble and Bumble
  • Claritin
  • Cover Girl cosmetics
  • Crest Whitestrips
  • Diabetic testing strips
  • e.p.t. pregnancy tests
  • Gillette Fusion Razors and replacement cartridges
  • Gillette MACH3, Venus and Sensor razors and refill cartridges
  • Lotrimin
  • Matrix
  • Nicorette
  • Oil of Olay
  • Oral B replacement heads
  • Pepcid AC
  • Prilosec
  • Primatene
  • Pureology
  • RoC
  • Rogaine
  • Similac
  • Sudafed
  • Schick Quattro razors and all Schick refill cartridges
  • Sonicare replacement heads
  • Tylenol Extra Strength
  • Visine
  • Zantac

And be wary of:
  • High-end liquor
  • Cigarettes
  • Red Bull energy drinks
  • Blu-ray movies and player
  • Braun electric razors
  • Dyson vacuums

NRF advises only buying items from established retailers.
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