As the holiday season is upon us, so is the massive shopping spree many people are planning to go on. With scamming and robberies at an all-time high, the DOJ wants to advise consumers as they embark on holiday shopping to keep safe from crime and avoid being scammed.

Eleanor Blume, special assistant attorney general, lists several things to look for while shopping this holiday season. 

• Be suspicious of a price or deal that 

   seems too good to be true. 

• Be attentive to details before you make a 

   purchase: warranties, delivery times, fees, 

   and return policies. 

• Before purchasing with a business, 

   particularly one new to you or operating 

   online, always research. 

• Use a credit card when shopping. 

• Make sure you have a secure internet 

   connection when shopping online. 

• Don’t open links from unsolicited text 

   messages. 

• Close accounts on websites and apps that 

   you no longer need. 

• Know the common pitfalls of zero-interest

   financing offers before agreeing.

Blume highlights citizens’ rights that can be exercised under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). 

“You have the right to know about the personal information a business collects and how it is used and shared; The right to delete personal information that a business collects; The right to opt-out of the sale of personal information; and The right to non-discrimination for exercising your CCPA rights.”

Tania Ibanez, senior assistant attorney general, charitable trusts sector, details what their job is.  

“The attorney general has the primary responsibility for supervising charities in California. The attorney general seeks to protect charitable assets and donations and ensure compliance with articles of incorporation and other governing documents.” Ibanez said.

“We also legalize and audit staff at the attorney general’s office to investigate charities, charitable trusts, and fundraising professionals and bring enforcement actions. Finally, we legalize and audit staff to review complaints filed against charities and their fundraisers and also review transactions that require notice or consent from the attorney general.” Ibanez said.

Ibanez noted the registration and reporting requirements all charities need to operate in California. Charities in California are required to register and file annual financial reports with the attorney general’s registry of charitable trusts unless exempt by statute.

 Charitable fundraisers soliciting or operating in California are required to register, report, and submit to contract requirements. 

The final requirement is for the attorney general’s registry of charitable trusts (Registry) to oversee the registration and reporting requirements of charities, charitable trusts, and charitable fundraisers. 

Ibanez also noted that the Attorney General’s registry is open to the public, and can look up what organizations are legitimate, have been suspended before, or have a delinquency on their record. She also advises donating to organizations you trust and never ones you find out about via telephone or email. 

For more tips and tricks to stay safe and scam free this holiday season visit https://tinyurl.com/3xf2hm8p.

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