Augusta Free Press

Attorney General Mark Herring shares important tips for safe holiday shopping

Whether shopping at the mall, at a local small business, or online, 2014 holiday sales nationwide are forecast to reach approximately $616.9 billion dollars.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, Attorney General Mark Herring is sharing important information that will help all Virginians enjoy this holiday shopping season. Attorney General Herring hopes to give everyone the information they need to have a safe and happy holiday by avoiding common pitfalls and scams that inevitably surface this time of year.

“My team and I work year-round to protect consumers from abuses and to share important information on scams or fraud schemes, but the holidays are a prime time for would-be scammers and criminals to try to separate you from your hard-earned money,” said Attorney General Herring. “I would encourage all Virginians to keep these tips in mind to help make the holiday season safer and to make your hard earned dollars go a little further.” 


Retail Safety


Online Shopping


Gift Cards


Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance


Charity Navigator

Charity Watch


IRS Search for Tax Exempt Organizations

National Association of State Charity Officials

Finally, the holidays are a prime time for scammers to try to separate you from the money you need to buy gifts for your family and friends.  Because consumers are increasingly using the Internet to take care of their holiday needs, whether it’s shopping, shipping or sending out cards, cybercriminals are always finding new ways to scam unsuspecting consumers.  Keep these points in mind:

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section helps educate Virginians about fraud and accepts consumer complaints regarding a variety of issues. Virginians may contact the Office to get information on scams or threats, or to file a complaint. Visit our website: or call 1-800-552-9963 in Virginia or (804) 786-2042 if calling from the Richmond area.