2017 Consumer Protection Bureau 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 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 Shopping and Scams

Shoppers and gift recipients alike love gift cards for their convenience and ease of purchase and use. As with anything else where there is an exchange of money, there are some dos, don’ts and potential scam traps to consider when it comes to gift cards.

Read online / Download PDF

Holiday Promotions

In recent years, many major retailers have started spreading their one-day Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales into a week-long shopping extravaganza. Each of these promotions will have its own terms and conditions, including limited item inventories, rebate requirements and specific promotion dates and times. How does a consumer keep track of all of the details for these sales?

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 sales are expected to increase for the ninth year in a row in 2017, and online sales will continue to drive much of the spending. Using smartphones, smartwatches, tablets and laptop computers, consumers can tackle an entire shopping list from anywhere they can get an internet connection. But with this convenience comes the need to protect your personal and financial information when shopping online.

Read online / Download PDF

Returns / Exchanges

Gift shopping is a gamble. Despite all of your best efforts, your "perfect gift" may end up back on the store shelf hours after the package is unwrapped. Given that even the best presents sometimes get returned or exchanged, planning ahead can be a great help to a gift recipient.

Read online / Download PDF

Shipping Scams

More and more consumers are shopping for the holidays online and are accustomed to the influx of purchase and delivery confirmation emails. This added email traffic creates a scenario where scammers can sneak malware-laden spam emails into consumers’ accounts masked as shipping or delivery alerts.

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