With the holidays here, this week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody released her annual Holiday Consumer Protection Guide to help protect consumers from scams, recalled products and more.
With so many consumer purchases taking place during the holiday season, it is a good time to be particularly mindful of potential scams, security issues and added costs that may impact online purchases. Moody encouraged consumers to take a close look at this year’s guide to avoid being targeted this holiday season. The 2020 Holiday Consumer Protection Guide is available in both English and Spanish.
“As we enter this year’s holiday season and the end of a tough year, it is important that we remain aware of common scams, recalled products and internet consumer safety. By doing so, we can protect ourselves, our families and our friends. While shopping for loved ones can be fun and rewarding, it is important to watch out for those who may be looking to prey on the unsuspecting. This year’s guide is designed to provide additional online safety tips since online shopping is anticipated to increase this year with the extra reliance on the internet as many folks may prefer to stay home,” Moody said on Monday.
In addition to information on product recalls, the 2020 Holiday Consumer Protection Guide provides tips to keep money safe while making the most of holiday shopping. The guide features safety tips for online shopping and ensuring charitable dollars do the good they are intended.
The following tips are included in the guide:
- When shopping online, ensure that the web browser has a secure connection before inputting or submitting payment information. In the address bar, a padlock should appear to signify a secure session;
- Keep receipts and be sure to understand retailers’ return policies and periods so any unwanted items can be returned for a full refund;
- When purchasing gift cards, check whether there is an additional activation fee and provide the activation receipt to the recipient. Additionally, consider the retailer’s financial situation before buying a gift card; if the retailer closes or declares bankruptcy, the recipient may not be able to enjoy the card’s value;
- Review charitable solicitations carefully prior to donating. Understand how much of a donation will go towards charitable programs, as opposed to administrative and fundraising expenses; and
- Do not give personal or financial information to an unsolicited text, email or call from a claimed charity. if interested in donating, ask for information and pledge form to be mailed.