Tips to avoid scams when shopping, donating to charity this holiday season

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OAKLAND, Calif. — As the holiday season approaches, the Department of Justice and the Attorney General’s Office want to help you avoid scams.

First, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it might be.

“If a seller says they’re going to give you something for $100 or less than it appears elsewhere, beware. We like to see competition in the marketplace, but beware,” said Eleanor Blume , Special Assistant Attorney General. .

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

If you are shopping online, have a secure internet connection and do not open links from unsolicited messages. California residents may exercise their rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act, which allows you to have the right to delete personal information that a company collects and more.

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

If you donate to charities over the holidays, remember that the Attorney General’s Registry provides public access to charity registration and reporting.

“Their documents are there so you can see how much a charity uses for fundraising, how much they pay their best employees. There is a wealth of information in the documents that you can find,” Tania said. Ibañez, senior associate attorney. general.

Be careful where you donate. Never assume fundraisers are legitimate online and be careful when donating using QR codes, Square card readers, or text messages.

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