Back to School and National Teddy Bear Day

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Our 11 News Call For Action team writes a weekly column for our media partner The Gazette. Previous columns can be found here.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) — If you’re still shopping for last-minute school supplies, consumer experts have some tips for safe back-to-school shopping. Or maybe you’re looking for deals online over Labor Day weekend.

The Federal Trade Commission shares ways to monitor online shopping scams. First, before making a purchase, be sure to check the refund and return policies, especially for sale and clearance items. Companies usually have stricter policies for sale items, sometimes they don’t allow returns.

The FTC says you should use a credit card for online purchases, if possible. Experts have said that credit cards offer the best protection against fraud. It’s also easier to dispute charges if there’s a problem with a purchase.

Next, make sure you always keep your receipts and confirmation emails. The FTC said that if something goes wrong, it will be easier to try to get your money back from the seller or file a dispute with your credit card company.

Plus, you don’t have to accept long shipping times. If you bought something online and haven’t received it, you should contact the seller immediately. The FTC said that if the seller hasn’t shipped the item within the time promised when purchased, the law says you can cancel the order for a full refund.

Finally, be sure to look for pre-checked boxes. The FTC has declared this practice illegal, but some companies use them hoping you won’t notice that you agree to be charged for something later. Make sure to uncheck all the boxes. You can find more information at FTC.gov.

Also, I want to let you know that you can help children who may be going through a tough time in our community. El Paso County and the Department of Social Services are teaming up to collect donations for National Teddy Bear Day, which takes place this Friday. The day celebrates everyone’s favorite stuffed animals. The teddy bears will be donated to children from DHS, which provides child abuse and neglect protection and prevention services.

“Teddy bears are essential to early childhood development, providing a child with a companion to experience new adventures and emotions alongside them,” El Paso County said in a news release. “To ensure that every child has the opportunity to bond with a teddy bear, El Paso County is donating teddy bears to DHS children. These teddy bears will arrive at their new friends on the 9th september.

County officials have told me that attendance has been good so far. They hope to receive 100 or more teddy bears to donate to children in our community. You can drop off teddy bear donations until Wednesday. A donation box is set up in the lobby of the El Paso County Centennial Hall at 200 S. Cascade Ave from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is another box set up at JAKs Brewing Co., 11860 Stapleton Drive in Falcon.

Click here to read the original column on gazette.com.

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