DORA issues advisories on its top holiday-season and year-end consumer topics

DENVER  -- As winter holiday celebrations approach and 2015 comes to a close, this is the season be especially mindful of your money, job, family and home. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) has compiled a list of its top holiday-season and year-end consumer topics, and encourages consumers to take just five minutes to review each advisory to avoid some common pitfalls and arm yourself with information that could save you time, money or both. This time of year often presents unique challenges for employers, employees and the consumers they serve. At DORA, consumer protection is our mission. Our divisions – Banking, Civil Rights, Consumer Counsel, Financial Services, Insurance, Professions and Occupations, the Public Utilities Commission, Real Estate, and Securities— encourage you to enjoy the final days of 2015 with some additional peace of mind.

From how to verify the license of a massage therapist to tips on insurance for drones, DORA will issue the following consumer advisories through January 5. You can also review all of the advisories in advance by clicking “Go to advisory now.”

1. Employment/Employee Discrimination
Dec. 23 
With the spike of temporary, seasonal employment opportunities that continue through the New Year, the Colorado Civil Rights Division help employees to know their rights and reminds employers to be aware of Colorado’s anti-discrimination and public accommodation laws. Go to advisory now.

2. The “Gift” of Massage
Dec. 23 
Massage therapy is a licensed profession in the State of Colorado. If you plan on giving a gift certificate for massage, or you are the recipient of a massage certificate, learn what you should know before you go. Go to advisory now.

3. Year-End Giving/Charity Scams
Dec. 28 
The holidays are a popular time for people to give both time and money to others in need. Unfortunately, it also means we see more complaints and reports of fake charities that scam innocent do-gooders, as well as truly needy recipients, out of donations. How can you ensure that your money is truly going to a worthy cause? Go to advisory now.

4. The Liability of Drones
Dec. 29

Congratulations. You followed the trend and are a proud new drone owner. Now what? Before you fly, make sure you know what you’re liable -- and covered for -- if you crash it. Go to advisory now.

5. Ho Ho Ho, Don’t Get Towed!
Dec. 30 

‘Tis the season for attending holiday events, dining at restaurants and shopping at crowded malls. It’s also the season for seemingly endless searches for parking. Don’t waste your hard-earned money paying for towing charges because your car was parked illegally in a private parking lot. Go to advisory now.

6. When to Take the Lights Down
Dec. 31

It may be a time-honored Colorado tradition to keep your lights and decorations up until after the National Western Stock Show in January, but before you participate, first know your Home Owner’s Association rules around holiday decor or you may be facing an unwanted fine. Go to advisory now.

7. Want Cash Back? Resolve to Reduce Energy Use.
Jan. 4, 2016

Attracted to cash back promotions? Here’s a pretty reliable one. Reduce your energy use. If saving money is one of your New Year’s resolutions, changing your habits around energy use now keeps money in your pocket. Businesses and residential energy consumers who follow some of these no and low cost tips will start seeing immediate savings. Go to advisory now.

8. EMV Card Schemes
Jan. 5, 2016

You’ve heard the saying that starts with “An ounce of prevention is worth...” In the case of the new Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) cards, knowing what schemes to look out for is worth your time. Schemes around the rollout of EMV cards along with card-not-present transactions and are expected to continue well after the holidays, with phishing schemes one of the most damaging. Go to advisory now.

Advisories will also be posted on DORA’s Take 5 to Get Wise website, Take5.state.co.us, as they are issued. For more information about DORA, visit ASKdora.Colorado.gov.

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The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit www.dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675

Media Contact:
Rebecca Laurie
Department of Regulatory Agencies
p: 303-894-2338 | c: 720-724-0612