2016 DATCP Holiday Release Package

All of our holiday shopping and

scam news releases, all in one place.

Each year the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's (DATCP) Bureau of Consumer Protection spreads out a series of releases on holiday-related issues over the course of November and December.  To better suit the needs of our media partners, this year's releases are all linked to this email and are ready for immediate publication. 

Each of our nine releases is listed below with a link to review it on the DATCP website or to download a PDF version.


Charity Scams

In the spirit of the season, many consumers give generously to charities over the holidays.  But while they are looking to share, scammers are looking to steal through fake charities with high-pressure pitches.

Read online / Download PDF


Gift Card Scams

Like many holiday shoppers, you may be planning to stock up on gift cards.  And like anything else that attracts consumers’ dollars, gift cards also draw the attention of scammers.

Read online / Download PDF


Gift Card Shopping

Convenience, availability and flexibility are always appreciated by shoppers, so it’s no wonder that gift cards are so popular as a holiday gift.  But for all of their pluses, there are some potential “gotchas” to look out for when buying and using gift cards. 

Read online / Download PDF


Holiday Promotions

Doorbusters! Black Friday Savings! Cyber Monday! Special Buy!  Holiday advertisements are full of breathless promotions of special sales and offers.  But the devil is in the details.  There are limitations and they tend to be relegated to the fine print.

Read online / Download PDF



Layaway is a popular option for consumers looking to hold the hottest gifts at the store without paying the full price upfront.  The process for layaway varies from store to store, however, with different fees and conditions to consider.

Read online / Download PDF


Online Shopping

Holiday shopping is an increasingly digital affair, with 57% of consumers planning to shop online this year (National Retail Federation).  Online shopping is quick and convenient, but it does provide openings for fraud. 

Read online / Download PDF


Returns / Exchanges

Buying a holiday gift for a loved one?  Here’s a peculiar holiday shopping tip: think ahead about the possibility of the gift being returned BEFORE you buy it.  Since even the best presents get returned or exchanged sometimes, planning ahead can be a great help to a gift recipient.

Read online / Download PDF


Shipping Scams

Online gift shopping during the holiday season opens up the market to scammers using fake shipping emails to spread malware or gather personal or banking information. 

Read online / Download PDF


Toy Safety

We consider a number of factors when we shop for a gift for children – what’s popular, what they are excited about, what they need – but we may not always think about the most important factor: safety. Even the most popular toy may not be appropriate for the intended child or safe for other children in the home.

Read online / Download PDF