Consumer protection agencies and state leaders are joining in a chorus ahead of the shopping season hoping to make sure that you and your loved ones have a happy holiday.
The general message: scammers aren’t taking the holiday off so keep your guard up.
Attorney General Ashley Moody released the 2022 Holiday Consumer Protection Guide for Floridians, which contains information about holiday-related scams, fraudulent charities, recalled products and more.
Scammers know that consumers increase spending during the holiday season and may prey on Floridians looking for special deals and gifts for family and friends.
“The busiest shopping season of the year is underway, and scammers may use the occasion to prey on unsuspecting consumers searching for the perfect gift,” Moody said in a news release. “To help protect Floridians, I am releasing our 2022 Holiday Consumer Protection Guide. Our guide is full of information about online shopping scams, identity theft, cybercrimes and much more. Download it for free at MyFloridaLegal.com.”
The 2022 Holiday Consumer Protection Guide includes a list of items recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to the recalls, the guide contains tips about secure online shopping, information about charity scams and advice for preventing identity theft during the holiday season, such as:
- When ordering online, ensure a web browser is secure before inputting or submitting payment information. In the address bar, a padlock should appear to signify that a session is secure;
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card when shopping online. Credit cards allow consumers to dispute a charge more easily if an item never arrives or a fraudulent charge occurs;
- Keep receipts and be sure to understand return policies and deadlines to return unwanted items for a full refund; and
- Know the difference between tax exempt and tax deductible. A charitable organization that is tax exempt does not pay taxes, but this does not necessarily mean that a contribution is tax deductible. To check whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, visit Apps.IRS.gov/app/eos.
For more tips and information, access the full 2022 Holiday Consumer Protection Guide here.
To view the guide in Spanish, click here.
For a complete list of all product recalls, visit CPSC.gov.
To report a scam, visit MyFloridaLegal.com or call 1-866-9NO-SCAM.