Black Friday Shopping Safety Tips

Black Friday Shopping Safety Tips

As the holiday season draws ever closer, many people are setting their sights on Black Friday and its many deals. Unfortunately for any deal seekers out there, there aren’t enough deals to go around. This causes a lot of stress and even a lot of fights the day of the sale.

What’s more, there are many people out there looking to take advantage of people who are too focused on finding the best deal. In order to avoid any potential theft, it is important for every Black Friday shopper to take the proper precautions. After all, anything bad happening on Black Friday would be a rough start to the Christmas season.

In The Parking Lot

Before any shopper even gets to a store, they have to deal with the parking lot. Finding parking can be difficult even on a good day. On Black Friday, parking lots can become incredibly dangerous between half asleep shoppers and rushing drivers. Then throw a few crooks into the mix and it is easy to understand why people need to be extra careful on this day.

Here are some tips for staying safe in parking lots on Black Friday:

  • Always lock doors and roll up windows when leaving the car, no matter how quick the trip inside may be.
  • At night, avoid parking in dark, secluded areas. Try parking close to street lights to increase visibility.
  • Avoid parking near large trucks or vans that reduce visibility and provide hiding spots for crooks.
  • Be careful backing out of spots. Cars may be waiting for the spot, rushing down the aisle, or there may be a pedestrian walking by.
  • Be extra cautious while driving through parking lots. There will be more pedestrians and traffic than normal.
  • Be patient when looking for a parking spot. Don’t rush to take a spot from someone else and try to avoid causing, or giving into, road rage.
  • Bring gifts into the house once home. Never try to hide them in a car as they are easier to steal there.
  • Have car keys in hand when leaving the store. This way there is no fumbling for them when approaching the car, which can make a person an easier target.
  • Hide all gifts and other purchased items in the trunk of the car or keep them hidden inside the car. A passing thief could see them and decide that breaking a window for the goodies within is worth it.
  • Remember parking spots to avoid wandering around the lot while carrying bags looking for the car.
  • Try to check under cars when approaching them. Thieves have been known to hide underneath them.

In The Stores

Once in a store, a person will have to deal with all of the crowds that Black Friday deals bring out. This is a great place for pickpockets to lie in wait, so it is important to remain on guard in the store as well.

  • Avoid using purses as these are easier to steal from. However, if using a purse, never leave it unattended.
  • Avoid walking alone since that makes a person more of a target. If possible, ask a security guard to walk you to your vehicle.
  • Don’t carry too much at once. When carrying large amounts of stuff, a person is less able to defend themselves from crooks.
  • Don’t fight over items with other customers. This will just cause a lot of anger for all parties involved and with the internet, it is always possible to find the item online.
  • If using an ATM, use one in a well-lit and populated area. Do not throw away the receipt at the ATM.
  • Leave stores way before closing. Preferably before it gets dark.
  • Preferably leave children at home where there are no crowds that they can get lost in. If kids have to be brought, make sure they have cellphones or have contact information memorized. Designate a meeting place in the event that anyone gets separated.
  • Stay hydrated and well-fed on long shopping trips to prevent fatigue and dehydration.
  • Try to carry keys and money separately in pockets. That way if one is stolen, the other isn’t.
  • Use a single credit/debit card while shopping instead of cash. If a card is stolen, it can be deactivated and the thief gets nothing and deactivating one is easier than deactivating all of them. If cash is stolen, there is little the victim can do to get it back.

Stay Safe

Black Friday marks the start of the Christmas season and it is a day when many people begin their Christmas shopping. It can be a very busy, exciting, and frustrating day. If a person is considering going shopping on Black Friday, they need to be prepared for all of the crowds and chaos.

When shopping this holiday season, try to keep these tips in mind. They can help prevent you from falling victim to a thief, which would be a terrible way to start the season.

Do you have any tips for staying safe while shopping that aren’t on this list?

Share them below and help others stay safe.

 

Co-Signers Make Bail Easier

Co-Signers Make Bail Easier

Bailing someone out of jail on your own can be difficult, but with the right help, it can be a piece of cake. That is why most people seek help from a bail agent. Getting a bail bond greatly reduces the cost of posting bail, but it isn’t always enough. Luckily, there is an additional way to get help with a bail bond, just get someone to co-sign with you.

Co-signers take responsibility for the bail bond. They are responsible for making sure payments are made on time and that their loved one goes to every court hearing. Multiple people can agree to co-sign for someone’s bail bond. When this happens, they share the responsibilities, thus making it easier for each of them.

Co-signers can help prevent a person from needing to pledge collateral for a bail bond. Here at Bail Bonds in Concord, we don’t need collateral with most of our bail bonds as long as we have the signature of a working co-signer. Getting rid of the need for collateral can take a lot of stress off of a person.

In addition to just sharing the responsibilities, having good co-signers can even help a person get a discount. If one of the co-signers for the bail bond meets just one of the following requirements, they can qualify for a 20% discount off the price of the bail bond.

Every co-signer gets the discount as long as one co-signer:

  • Is a member of the military.
  • Is a member of AARP.
  • Is a member of a union.
  • Is a homeowner.
  • Have a private attorney.

Having co-signers for a bail bond can help make bailing someone out of jail a whole lot easier. It helps share the responsibility for the bail bond, can get rid of the need for collateral, and can even qualify you for a discount. All of this helps makes it possible for people to deal with bail. Just having that little bit of extra help is all people need.

Do you need help with bail? If so call Bail Bonds in Concord at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

Can I Have A Payment Plan To Pay For Bail?

Can I Have A Payment Plan To Pay For Bail?

When people need to make big expenses, they want to make sure they can truly afford the expense. This is especially important when it comes to rescuing a loved one from jail. You want to be able to afford the bail. Sadly bail, costs several thousands of dollars here in California. Luckily, Bail Bonds in Antioch is here to make things more affordable.

One of the easiest ways we do that is by providing payment plans for our clients. With a payment plan, the cost of the bail bond, which is already 90% cheaper than the bail itself, becomes more manageable. The payment plan takes the bail bond and breaks it into smaller pieces that a person can actually afford.

Things get even better when you take into account the fact that we personalize all of our payment plans. Here at Bail Bonds in Antioch, we understand that everyone is different and has their own, unique budget. That is why we make sure that the monthly payments work with each client’s budget.

If, for some reason, a client knows that they are going to be late with one of their payments, they can talk to their agent beforehand. We understand that things change and what might have been affordable a few months ago can be unaffordable this month. As long as our clients talk with us in advance, we are more than happy to work with them to make sure the bail bond remains affordable.

Aside from providing payment plans for our clients, we also provide all of the following for our clients.

  • 24/7 Bail Bond Service
  • FREE Consultation
  • 20% Discount
  • Phone approvals
  • 0% Interest Payment Plans
  • No Hidden Fees
  • No Collateral with Working Co-Signer
  • Se habla Español

If you need to bail someone out of jail and want to make sure that you can afford to, contact Bail Bonds in Antioch. We will provide you with a personalized payment plan that breaks down the cost of the bail bond and spreads it out over several months. With our help, you will be able to afford to rescue your loved one from jail.

To learn more about our services or simple get a FREE bail bond consultation, call Bail Bonds in Antioch at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

Don’t Get A DUI This Thanksgiving

Don’t Get A DUI This Thanksgiving

Halloween came and went and Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. The holiday season is upon us and that means a lot of parties, family and drinking. This is a great time of year and is usually filled with lots of fun. Unfortunately, some people make a single decision that can ruin the festivities for everyone.

Alcohol is often very prominent at parties, and so naturally, people tend to get drunk at holiday parties. On its own, this is fine. The trouble comes when someone who has been drinking decides they are going to drive themselves home. They think things like they’re fine, or just buzzed, and then take their keys and leave. Sometimes they make it home. Other times they don’t.

Drunk Driving Is Illegal

Drinking and driving is illegal, and everyone knows that. However, people still do it anyways, and it is incredibly dangerous.

When a person has consumed alcohol, operating normally becomes difficult. Alcohol dulls the senses and distorts a person’s thinking. Due to this, when a person drives drunk, they are less capable of driving safely. They struggle to drive straight, stop properly, and avoid any surprises that are sent their way. This is why drunk drivers get into so many accidents.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal in California under several different laws. The main law being Vehicle Code (VC) 23152. This law states that it is illegal for any person to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is especially true if the person has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater.

DUI Checkpoints

Law enforcement agencies are always keeping an eye out for drunk drivers. They want to get them off of the road as quickly as they can before an accident occurs. They will pull over any vehicle that they suspect may be driven by a drunk driver.

Around days where there tends to be a lot of partying, law enforcement agencies kick things up a notch. Instead of just waiting to stumble upon a drunk driver, they setup checkpoints near popular areas to try and catch the driver in the act.

DUI checkpoints are often posted in advance to give people plenty of warning and the option to avoid them if they want. At the checkpoint, cars will have to wait their turn to speak with an officer. When an officer is ready, they will signal for a driver to pull forward. From there, the officer will ask a few questions, such as:

  • Where are you going?
  • Where are you coming from?
  • Have you been drinking tonight?

The officer may even ask to see your license and registration. If everything checks out, the officer will let the driver proceed. However, if they suspect the person has been drinking, they will ask the driver to pullover to the side of the road. There, another officer will perform a field sobriety test. If they determine the driver has been drinking, then they will either arrest driver, or have him/her call for a sober ride home.

Penalties Of DUI

The penalties for a DUI vary depending on whether or not this is the driver’s first DUI offense, and if someone was injured or not. For a first time DUI offense, a driver faces the following consequences:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 9 months of DUI School.
  • A 4 month driver’s license suspension or 6 months with an ignition interlock device (IID) in the car.

A second time DUI offense comes with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 30 months of DUI School.
  • A 2 year driver’s license suspension or 1 year with an IID in the car.

When someone is injured due to a drunk driver, the person can face either misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the severity of the injury. The consequences for misdemeanor DUI with an injury are:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $5,000.
  • Restitutions to the injured person.
  • Up to 30 months of DUI School.
  • A 1 year driver’s license suspension or 6 months with an IID in the car.

If a person is facing felony DUI with injury charges, they face the following consequences:

  • Up to 16 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $5,000.
  • Restitutions to the injured person.
  • Up to 30 months of DUI School.
  • 1 year with an IID in the car.

If a person has acquired too many DUI convictions within the last 10 years, or their drunk driving killed someone, they will face felony DUI charges. This includes:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 30 months of DUI School.
  • A 5 year driver’s license suspension.

While the consequences for felony DUI are lighter, it is important to remember that typically, DUI’s that result in death earn a person vehicular manslaughter charges, which carry much harsher consequences.

Don’t Ruin The Holidays With A DUI

Nobody wants their holiday ruined by a drunk driver hurting or killing someone they know and love, so it is best for anyone who is planning on drinking this holiday season to do so responsibly. This means that not only should a person know their limit with alcohol, they should have a ride home arranged before they begin drinking. The ride home could be a predetermined designated driver (DD), or a ride share service such as Uber or Lyft. A person could even hire a cab to take them home.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how the person gets home, as long as they did it safely, without driving under the influence.

What do you think of California’s DUI laws and DUI checkpoints?

Do the laws and consequences matchup, or should they be adjusted? What about the checkpoints, do you think it is fair for the officers to disrupt traffic like that just to catch a few bad people? Let us know what you think in the comments below and have a safe Thanksgiving!

 

California’s Real IDs

California’s Real IDs

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ve probably seen a story or two talking about Real ID’s. There has been quite a commotion as Californians all begin prepping for the switch from their old California ID’s to these new ones, but why? What is so special and important about these new ID cards?

What Are Real ID’s?

The need for Real ID’s arose from the Real ID Act passed by Congress in 2005, which was recommended by the 9/11 Commission. The idea was to set a federally accepted standard for how identification cards were issued by state governments. Under this act, certain requirements have to be met while applying for an ID card. If these requirements aren’t met with that ID, then it will not be given the same access as a Real ID.

Starting on October 1st, 2020 everyone, over the age of 18, will need to present a Real ID compliant license or ID in order to access federal facilities and to board domestic flights. This is why these ID’s are such a big deal for a lot of people. Without a Real ID, people will not be able to fly in the US.

Minors are exempt from the need to use a Real ID since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not require people under the age of 18 to provide identification.

Applying For A Real ID

Not everyone will need a Real ID. To find out if a person will need a Real ID, they can take a quiz on the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)’s website here.

Since a Real ID is a new form of identification, a person looking to get one will need to bring a lot of documentation with them. Some of the important documents that a person will need to bring with them to the DMV for a Real ID include:

  • An identification document that lists a person’s date of birth and full name. Some examples of this include US Passports and birth certificates.
  • A name change documentation if the name has been changed, such as a woman’s name being changed after getting married.
  • One document showing a person’s social security number. This can be a person’s social security card or their W-2 form.
  • Two different documents proving the person’s residency in the state of California. These must include the person’s full mailing address and first and last name.

If a person already had a Real ID, but only showed one proof of residency to get the ID, they will need to provide a second proof of residency in order for the ID to remain effective.

If You Want To Travel, You’ll Need A Real ID

Any Californian planning to visit secure federal locations, or wanting to fly across the US after October 1st, 2020 will need to have a federally approved Real ID. The whole point of this new type of ID is to make sure that every state is on the same page and getting the same information when issuing an ID to a person. The hope is that these new ID’s will help prevent people from forging them.

While getting this new form of identification may be a bit of a hassle and time consuming, once a person has it, they do not have to worry. Renewing a Real ID will be as simple as renewing their old driver’s license.

What are your thoughts on Real ID’s and how the state of California has been handling them?

Let us know in the comments down below.

 

Open Container Laws In California

Open Container Laws In California

Everyone knows about the dangers of drinking and driving. Consuming alcohol puts a person’s mind in a weird place. The person is still sort of aware of what they are doing, but they are incapable of doing things precisely. An intoxicated person may see something happening, but won’t be able to react in time, or in the right way, to prevent it.

This is why drunk driving is prohibited by law in every single state. Drunk driving is very dangerous and claims thousands of lives across the country every single year. However, it is not only the act of being drunk and driving that is illegal, especially here in California. There are also laws aimed at preventing the act from ever happening in the first place.

What Are Open Container Laws?

Being drunk while driving is bad. Drinking while driving is worse. That is why there are so many laws that make it illegal to have an opened container of alcohol inside of a motor vehicle. No one wants someone to grab a drink while they are behind the wheel.

The state of California has several different laws against drunk driving. One particular set is often, collectively, referred to as California’s Open Container Laws. This grouping of laws from Vehicle Code (VC) 23221 to VC 23229 covers every type of situation that might see an open container of alcohol within a motor vehicle.

When it comes to the term “open container,” the law views the following as open containers:

  • A container that has been opened.
  • A container with a broken seal.
  • A container whose contents have been partially consumed.

Under these definitions, it doesn’t matter if a lid or cork has been placed onto the container, it is still considered open. This also means that a person does not have to actively be drinking from the container to get in trouble. Just having the open container in the vehicle is illegal.

California’s Open Container Laws

California’s open container laws are as follows:

  • VC 23221 – This laws prohibits anyone from consuming alcohol while in any car, truck, or other automobile.
  • VC 23222 – This law prohibits anyone from possessing an open container of alcohol in their vehicle.
  • VC 23224 – This law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from possessing an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.
  • VC 23225 – This law lays out how alcohol can be transported in vehicles, namely that alcohol containers must be stored in the “trunk” of a car.
  • VC 23226 – This law prohibits anyone from storing containers of alcohol in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.
  • VC 23229 – This law creates exceptions for in-hire vehicles, such as taxis and limousines. Basically, passengers of in-hire vehicles are allowed to drink in the vehicle, but drivers are not.
  • VC 23229.1 – This law prohibits in-hire vehicles from transporting alcohol when minors, under the age of 21, are riding in the vehicle.

There is a bit of overlap between some of these laws, which is likely due to the fact that the lawmakers just wanted to be thorough.

Penalties For Breaking These Laws

The penalties for breaking this law aren’t as bad as one might expect. For starters, breaking an open container law is an infraction level offense. This means there are no criminal charges and a person will not face any jail time. For these offenses alone anyways. However, if a person was drunk behind the wheel, then they can face DUI charges on top of open container charges.

Breaking an open container law in California has a max base fine of $250 dollars.

If a minor, anyone under the age of 21, is caught breaking an open container law, they face harsher consequences. Breaking an open container law as a minor is a misdemeanor level offense. This comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

Both types will also add points to a person’s driver’s license, which can lead to worse penalties down the line and increased insurance rates. Basically, it is in a person’s best interest to follow these laws, especially if they are under the age of 21.

Don’t Drink In A Car

Drinking and driving is a terrible thing to do. Not only does it put the driver’s life at risk, but it endangers any passengers in the vehicle, as well as everyone else on the road. One small mistake and the driver could wind up in a horrible accident. That is why there are so many laws against drunk driving.

No one wants to be in an accident, and no one wants to get into trouble with the law, so it is best to never drink in a vehicle, or have an open container improperly stored within the vehicle. Doing either of those things could very quickly ruin someone’s day.

What do you think about California’s open container laws?

Is it a good idea for California to worry about this sort of thing? Are the penalties for breaking these laws too small or not enough? Let us know what you think about these laws in the comments down below.

 

What Are Statutes Of Limitations?

What Are Statutes Of Limitations?

Something that people may not realize, is that there is actually a time limit for when a person can be charged for a specific crime. This time limit is referred to as a statute of limitations. This is done as a way to help protect people from being accused of things they did years ago. The practice comes from ancient Greece where a statute of limitations of 5 years was placed on all crimes save for homicide, for which there was no time limit.

The practice is still used in modern law today to help prevent abuse from occurring. However, instead of a flat 5 year limitation across all crimes, specific types of crimes have different statutes of limitations.

Why Statutes Of Limitations Exist

Statute of limitations exist to protect people from prosecution for crimes that happened years ago. There are 3 main reasons for this:

  • Plaintiffs should pursue legal action the minute they are able to.
  • Waiting too long to file a claim can prevent a defendant from finding evidence needed to disprove a claim.
  • Cases that have been dormant for a long time have a tendency to be more cruel than just.

Statutes of limitations exists to keep the legal process fair for everyone.

California Statute Of Limitation Laws

There is no set limit for a statute of limitations, and they often vary from state to state. On top of being different in each state, the lengths of the limits vary depending on the crime in question.

Here in California, some of the more common crimes that have a 1 year statute of limitations include:

  • Defamation.
  • Malpractice, after it has been discovered.
  • Asbestos exposure, after it has been discovered.
  • Victim of a felony, after the conviction.

Common 2 year statute of limitations crimes include:

  • Personal injury.
  • Wrongful death.
  • False imprisonment.
  • Breach of oral contract.

Common 3 year statute of limitation crimes include:

  • Property damage.
  • Trespassing.
  • Fraud, after it has been discovered.

Common 4 year statute of limitation crimes include:

  • Breach of written contract.

Common 10 year statute of limitations crimes include:

  • Victims of serious felonies, after the conviction.

Statutes Of Limitations Exist For A Reason

It is important to remember that the law is supposed to be fair to everyone, including the people being accused of crimes. Waiting too long to accuse someone of a crime allows evidence to be destroyed, witnesses to disappear, and memories to fade. This can all make it very difficult for a defendant to properly defend themselves.

What do you think of statutes of limitations, and California’s different lengths?

Do you think some crimes should have longer or shorter lengths? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

 

Questions About Bail Bond Payments

Questions About Bail Bond Payments

When it comes to bailing someone out of jail, most people have a lot of questions. Here at Bail Bonds in Richmond, we have heard, and answered, all sorts of questions. The part of bail that causes the most concern amongst our clients, is paying for it. People have a lot of questions relating to paying for a bail bond, and so we’ve compiled a list of those questions and their answers to make things easier for you.

  • How much does a bail bond cost?
    How much a bail bond costs is dependent on how much your loved one’s bail is set at. Our bail bonds cost 10% of the bail they are for. This means that a $20,000 bail will have a $2,000 bail bond.
  • Are there any discounts?
    Yes, we do offer discounts for qualified clients. If you or a co-signer for the bail bond is a member of the military, a member of AARP, a union member, owns a home, or has a private attorney, then you can get 20% off the price of the bail bond.
  • How do I make payments?
    We accept a number of different payment options to make paying for the bail bond easier. We accept cash, checks, credit cards, Western Union money transfers, E-checks, and Wells Fargo Business Account deposits. These payments can be made in person, online, over the phone, or even through the mail in some instances.
  • How much do I have to pay upfront?
    That is dependent on how big the bail is, and who the co-signers for the bail bond are. A smaller bail can lead to smaller monthly and down payments. Having good co-signers is another way to shrink the size of the payments.
  • How much is interest?
    0%. We do not charge interest on our bail bonds.
  • Do I need collateral?
    In most cases, all we need for collateral is the signature of a working co-signer. If we have that, most times we won’t need any other type of collateral.
  • What happens if I miss a payment?
    We understand that life can get difficult at times, and so a missed payment is bound to happen. If you know in advanced that you are going to miss a payment, talk to one of our agents. We will be more than willing to work with you.

Paying for someone’s bail may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. At Bail Bonds in Richmond, we do everything that we can to make paying for the bail bond as easy as possible.

If you have more questions about bail or bail bonds, feel free to get in touch with one of our helpful bail agents. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including holidays) and consultations are always FREE. There is no reason not to talk to one of our professional bail agents.

Are you ready to get the bail process started? If so, call Bail Bonds in Richmond at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

Bail Bonds: How Much Does It Cost?

Bail Bonds: How Much Does It Cost?

One of the biggest questions people have when it comes to bailing someone out of jail is: how much is this going to cost? The answer to that varies from case to case. If a person is tackling the bail on their own, then it will probably cost several thousands of dollars. If the person gets a bail bond from Bail Bonds in Contra Costa, then it will cost significantly less.

Here at Bail Bonds in Contra Costa, our bonds only cost 10% of the bail they are for. This means that when our clients come to us for help, they get a 90% discount off the price of the bail. This can take the cost of a $20,000 bail and turn it into a much more affordable $2,000 bail bond. Who wouldn’t want a discount like this?

Aside from that discount, which all of our clients get, we also have other ways of reducing the cost of bailing someone out. For instance, we provide all of our clients with affordable, 0% interest payment plans. This breaks up the cost of the bail bond and spreads it out over several months.

We also offer special discounts for qualified clients. For instance, clients with approved credit can qualify for 0% down on their bail bond. This means they don’t have pay for the bail bond until a month after their loved one has been released. We also provide a 20% discount of the price of the bail bond for clients and co-signers who:

  • Are members of the military.
  • Are members of AARP.
  • Are members of a union.
  • Are homeowners.
  • Have private attorneys.

So long as a co-signer meets just one of those requirements, they can qualify for that discount.

While how much does a bail bond cost should be a simple questions to answer, it is hard to give a good answer without knowing the specifics of the case. Luckily, our bail agents are available to offer FREE consultations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including holidys). Our bail agents will be more than happy to answer all of your questions about bail.

If you want to know how much a bail bond will cost, call Bail Bonds in Contra Costa at 925-228-5858 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.

Animal Rescue Scam

Animal Rescue Scam

A lot of people out there love animals. This is why so many people own cats, dogs, and other critters. Typically, animal lovers will do whatever they can to help animals, especially those in need. It is a very admirable quality. Unfortunately, some bad people out there have figured out how to take advantage of that.

Scammers know that they can play with people’s heartstrings in order to steal money from them. They’ve figured out that by pretending to be from a local animal charity and giving some sob story about an animal, they can get people to give them money without much question.

Animal Shelter Donation Scams

Thanks to advances in modern technology, scammers can get in touch with people through various different channels. They can get in touch with you through:

  • Email.
  • Social media.
  • Phone calls.

Typically what scammers do with this scam is post pictures of animals that are “at risk” of being put down. They will ask for money donations, typically cash, money transfers, or in rare cases gift cards, to save the animal. Many kind people will jump at the opportunity to save an animal and will give up the money without questions. This is what the scammer wants. They don’t want their victims to question or worry about where the money is going.

Scammers like cash, money transfers and gift cards because the money is hard to trace once it’s been handed over. This means that once a victim gives up some money, it is gone for good, and it never goes toward helping any animals.

Tips For Dealing with Scams

One of the best tips for dealing with or avoiding scams is to never click links in emails. This is especially true when the email comes from an unknown email address. Some other tips include:

  • Be wary of anyone who contacts you asking for money.
  • Communicate with the charity directly, not through whatever means you were contacted.
  • Double check that the pictured animal actually exists and is in need of help.
  • Never wire transfer money ton an unknown recipient.
  • Real charities don’t get pushy with asking for donations.
  • Verify that the charity is legit.
  • Verify the email came from the official charity, not some random person.

Penalties For Scamming In California

Scamming people for their hard earned money is illegal in California. There are several laws against the act, and which one a scammer will be charged with is dependent on the scam that was run and who the victims were. Due to this fact, a scammer can face either misdemeanor or felony charges.

Misdemeanor penalties for scamming will typically be:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Informal probation.

Felony penalties for scamming can include:

  • A state prison sentence of varying lengths dependent on the actual crime.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Formal probation.
  • A possible strike under California’s Three Strikes Law.

Don’t Get Scammed Trying To Do A Good Deed

No one wants to get scammed, especially when they are trying to help an animal in need. Unfortunately, there are bad people out there that love to get money the easy way. These scammers have figured out they can convince people to just give them money by pretending there is an animal in need.

Whenever a person contacts you asking for money that should send up red flags about the legitimacy of the charity. Don’t let yourself get scammed while trying to do a good deed.

Do you have any tips about avoiding scams like this?

If so, share them in the comments below and help other people avoid this scam and others like it.