Tips to avoid shopping scams and donate to charities this holiday season

OAKLAND, Calif. (KABC) — As the holiday season begins, the Department of Justice and the Attorney General’s Office want to help you avoid fraud.

First, if a deal seems too good to be true, it might be.

“If a seller says they’ll give you something for $100 or less than it shows up elsewhere, be suspicious. We like to see competition in the marketplace, but be suspicious,” said Eleanor Blume, assistant attorney general.

Blume says do your research before you buy. If possible, use credit cards when shopping as some have buyer protection.

When shopping online, keep your Internet connection safe and do not open links from unsolicited messages. California residents can exercise their rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act, which gives you the right to delete personal information a business has collected and more.

You can also file a complaint against a company on the Attorney General’s Office website.

If you’re giving to charities during the holiday season, remember that the Attorney General’s Register provides public access to charities’ registrations and reports.

“Your files are there so you can see how much a charity spends on fundraising, how much they pay their top employees. There is a great wealth of information in the files that you can find,” said Tania Ibañez, senior assistant attorney general.

Be careful where you donate. Never assume that online fundraisers are legitimate, and use caution when donating with QR codes, Square card readers, or text.

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Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. Tips to avoid shopping scams and donate to charities this holiday season

Laura Coffey

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