OAKLAND, Calif. -- As the holiday season gets underway, the Department of Justice and the Attorney General's Office wants to help you avoid scams.
First, if a deal seems too good to be true, it might be.
"If a seller is saying they're going to give you something for $100 or less than it shows up anywhere else, be suspicious. We like to see competition in the marketplace, but be suspicious," said Eleanor Blume, special assistant attorney general.
Blume says do your research before buying. If you can, use credit cards when shopping because some have buyer protection.
If you're shopping online, have secure internet connection, and don't open links from unsolicited messages. California residents can exercise their rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act, which allows you to have the right to delete personal information a business collects and more.
You can also file a complaint against a business on the office of the attorney general website.
If you donate to charities during the holidays, keep in mind that the attorney general registry provides public access to charity registration and reports.
"Their filings are there so you can see how much a charity is using for fundraising, how much they're paying their top employees. There's a great wealth of information within the filings that you can find," said Tania Ibañez, senior assistant attorney general.
Be cautious of where you're donating. Never assume fundraisers are legit online, and be careful when making donations using QR codes, Square card readers or through text.
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