As holiday season arrives, Arizona Attorney General warns of gift card scams

Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced an awareness campaign to let Arizonans know that government agencies will never ask for gift cards as a form of payment.

PHOENIX — The Arizona Attorney General’s Office partnered with CVS to help cut down on consumer fraud during the holiday season.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced an awareness campaign to let Arizonans know that government agencies will never ask for gift cards as a form of payment.

As of 2019, the Attorney General’s Office has investigated roughly 200 cases of fraud where someone posed as a government employee claiming that the victim owed them money and directed the victim to send payment in the form of gift cards.

“That is because we know that gift cards are very often essentially cash,” Attorney General Mark Brnovich said.  “They are non-traceable, people don’t keep the receipts sometimes, so it creates all sorts of issues and creates opportunities for the con artist.”

As part of the campaign, CVS stores across the state will place stop signs that remind people that the government does not accept gift cards.

“This is a classic example of a public-private partnership where they [CVS] have stepped up to work with us, at no taxpayer expense, to make sure that we have this program in place to protect consumers and that’s what our office is always about,” Brnovich said.

Retail Today, a retail industry magazine, predicts consumers will spend 19% more on gift cards this year over 2019. The magazine points to an upward trend in gift card spending Over the years, coupled with COVID-19 and it’s effects on how consumers shop.

Another aspect of the campaign is to have CVS employees looking out for their customers.

“We have warning triggers that if you’re buying over a certain amount it alerts our employees and has our employees intervene with you to ask questions.” Tom Moriarty, CVS Healthcare Executive Vice President explained. 

Employees may ask a customer what the gift cards are for or whom they are buying the gift cards for, to make sure that their customers are not falling for a scam.

While some customers may bristle at being asked about their purchase, Moriarty sees it as an informal conversation that could benefit the customer.

“It’s that interpersonal knowledge that we have, on the store level, that we think is hugely valuable and important to assist our customers and making sure they don’t fall victim to these types of scams.”

CVS and the AG’s Office hope to see a reduction in gift card-related scams this year as the goal of the program.


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The keys to finding the best human hair wigs and accessories

There are a lot of options online for human hair, but not all human hair is of the same quality. Wig specialist Haleigh DeBruyn from Headcovers by Joni is joining us to share the keys to finding the best human hair wigs and accessories.

Haleigh advises looking where the hair is sourced, the ethical implications, and shares what Remy hair means. Besides wigs, you can get toppers, halos, ponytails, and extensions in human hair.

Receive 50% off all in-stock wigs. In-store only, from Nov. 21-30.

For more information visit headcoversbyjoni.com or call 801-467-5665.

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New Era Cap: A Fashion Homerun

Baseball legend Babe Ruth is an all-American hero and a household name. Yet, he is hardly a style icon. In fact, for a sport known globally as “America’s national pastime”, baseball has been slow in conquering the world of Fashion. The baseball cap became its most prominent style ambassador. It wasn’t until players like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez came on the field that fashion industry began to pay attention off field. Jerseys, windbreakers, high socks, the dugout aesthetic started to find their way into editorials and designer collections.

Hip-hop giants were the earliest adopters.  Jay-Z boldly claimed “I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can” in Empire State of Mind and the line rang true. Eminem honored the Detroit Tigers by touring in a Mathers 8 jersey with Rihanna, but it became available to fans four years later. Baseball and fashion played a game of stops and starts. However, Babe Ruth himself said, “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” In 2018, a GQ headline read: “Baseball is stylish now!” Finally!

One of the brands that has spearheaded the fashion revolution in baseball is New Era Cap. Founded in 1920 in upstate New York, it helped transform a uniform cap into an international symbol of self-expression through sport and style. Its centennial celebrations capitalize now on proud history of forward-thinking engagement with teams, fans, and artists. The latest drop features headwear and apparel co-developed with Georgia rapper Offset, the Atlanta Braves team and Major League Baseball. The five-items capsule is a passionate shout-out to the city of Atlanta: unique patterns, mixed logos, signature phrases.

“Hip Hop and New Era go hand in hand. This collaboration is for The Culture. It’s proof that little black boys from Atlanta can excel beyond imagination. I can’t wait to see my caps on everybody,” said Offset at the launch.

Given all the extra attention to the state of Georgia in light of its historic Democratic turnout in the 2020 Presidential election, the collection just might impress everybody. Remember, there are no recounts in baseball and fashion.

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R29’s Shopping Team Shows Their Holiday Gift-Lists (& Wants YOU To Show Yours)

As we enter one of the strangest holiday seasons to date, gift-shopping has taken on a whole new meaning. In previous years, we scrambled to check names off a list; making sure we had something for every co-worker, friend, and family member we encountered during the typical festive sprees. But, this year, we’re taking a different approach: shopping with more intention for the people who matter most by selecting those really special gifts that will help us feel connected when we can’t be IRL. To help drum up some ideas, we polled our very own Shopping team members on the gifts they’re giving along with ones they’re excited to receive.

And, since they showed us theirs, now we’re asking YOU to show us yours: click here to fill out our survey and share what’s on your lists this holiday season (we’ll be updating this story to include your gift submissions!). Maybe you’re looking to find small-but-meaningful goods to pop in the mail for your Secret-Santa crew. Perhaps you’re in the market to splurge on a long-distance SO. You may also be wish-listing some feel-good buys for yourself, including everything from gear to get moving outside (safely) to new homebound hobbies to help pass the time or just some heavy-duty self-care. Whatever your gifting desires may be this season, we hope you find a little cheer in the shared list of ideas ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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Ulta Beauty’s CMO Dishes on Partnership With Target

For Ulta Beauty, the opportunity to place shop-in-shops within Target locations means reaching a whole new audience while filling gaps in its existing store footprint, said Shelley Haus, the beauty purveyor’s CMO.

The marketing executive hopped on the phone with Adweek this week to expand upon Ulta Beauty’s rationale for entering into the partnership, which was announced on Nov. 10. The initial plan calls for installing some 100 in-store shops within the department store’s locations in 2021.

“We do know from analysis that this [partnership] will complement our footprint, which is fantastic,” Haus said. “This will give us the ability to have a presence in urban locations where we don’t currently have a store,” adding that the same thesis applies to some rural areas as well.

Haus said that the effort doesn’t reflect a change to its core business strategy. Instead, she characterized it as a seamless extension of Ulta’s omnichannel strategy, which revolves around providing more touch points for more guests.

In fact, Ulta Beauty still foresees having between 1,500 and 1,700 of its own locations in the U.S., separate from the shop-in-shops at Target, she said. She declined to say when the chain expects to achieve that number of stores. As of the beginning of August of this year, the retailer operated 1,264 locations nationwide.

Before the two parties nailed down the partnership, they were encouraged to find that nine out of 10 Target and Ulta Beauty guests were excited about the alliance. Target’s past experience with such collaborations was also a selling point for Ulta, Haus said. She specifically citied the department store’s ongoing joint efforts with Disney, Levi’s and now FAO Schwarz as examples.

“We see it is as two powerhouse retailers coming together,” she added about the Target program. “We are two innovative companies who are always seeing around corners, looking ahead to what’s next.”

Haus described the shop-in-shop as an “elevated presentation.” The outlets will be staffed by a Target team member trained by the beauty purveyor. It hinges upon bringing an assortment of marquee and digitally-native brands to life. She said it’s Ulta Beauty’s relationships with brand partners (some of which are exclusive) and the variety of its products that differentiates it from competitors.

“Beauty is experiential, and we think about it as the physical, digital and emotional coming together,” she said. “This brings a truly authentic Ulta Beauty experience [to] within a Target store. It’s a really immersive, standalone experience.”

In addition, both brands share a similar approach to beauty. What Ulta brings to Target, however, is a more high-end product mix. The brand is known for coupling mass market goods with prestige merchandise—and has already proven the combination works. She feels confident the “masstige” formula, as she calls the product fusion, will find success at Target, too.

“Both Ulta Beauty and Target believe in the democratization of beauty,” said Haus. “Beauty lovers curate high and low and that’s reflected in our assortment.”

Haus went on to reiterate many of the other

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Entrepreneur champions clothing shop in his hometown

INGLEWOOD — Steve Cotton grew up in Inglewood, California. Filled with hometown pride and inspired by the late Nipsey Hussle, he decided to open up a clothing shop in Inglewood.

“When people put on our clothing – they’re just proud to wear Inglewood. Inglewood’s phrase is the ‘city of champions.’ I never thought I’d be a fashion designer, but now I’m making clothes every day,” said Cotton.

The entrepreneur wanted to give back to his hometown so his brand reflects and positively represents the love for his city. Recently, Cotton says there is a lot of buzz due to the new stadium. He knew it was the right time to get his business going.

“Lots of people come from all over the world just to get our version of Inglewood Monopoly,” said Cotton. Cotton adds that the neighborhood has been very welcoming and they feel really blessed. The Inglewood shop offers online shopping and curbside pick-up.

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2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Sesh

The holidays are here, and we know you’re ready to treat yourself and others. This section of the Leafly 2020 Holiday Gift Guide is full of stocking stuffers perfect for the pals you miss seshing with or the family members you know love cannabis on the low.

And at $50 or less, you won’t break the bank spreading a little holiday cheer.


Mini Slab Pads

$9

Dabs. So fun, but so messy. Not anymore.

These easy-to-clean MiniNail Slab Pads help keep your dab station from becoming a sticky disaster after fun times with your favorite rig.

With two different sizes, you can find the right slab pad to fit on your side table, nightstand, or anywhere else you want to set up and dab.


Smoke & Petals puzzle

$36

Broccoli magazine and Pieceworks came together to make this stunning Smoke & Petals puzzle that’s sure to delight many a stoner this holiday season.

Yes, those flowers are smoking joints, and yes, your best friend wants this gift.


A letter to someone incarcerated for cannabis crimes

$0

Good humans (just like you) are sitting in prison for victimless cannabis crimes that in many cases are no longer crimes.

Related

You can help free America’s cannabis prisoners. Here’s how

The Last Prisoner Project’s directory of prisoners includes bios, how to write them, and where to send it. You can give someone in prison a little bit of light. It will only cost you a few minutes.


Tanjun Pipe

$48

A collection of colorful glass Tanjun pipes

Choosing the right pipe is just as much about aesthetics as it is airflow. The glass Tanjun pipe from Laundry Day checks both boxes.

These beautiful pieces come in six different shades and double as incense holders. What’s not to love?


The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey

$20

Tap into your shroom stash and your imagination with The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey – a pro-psilocybin memoir.

Support independent booksellers and get your copy of this trippy tale about a woman and the lessons that she learns as life unfolds.


RE: stash jar

$17

These light-proof, child-proof stash jars from Mason-re are the best place for your dank weed when you’re not smoking it. Complete with jar, lid, and koozie -the idea is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s not genius.

To make it even better, the lid is made from recycled farm waste and hemp fibers, meaning you’re helping save the world while you’re saving your flavor and aromatics.


Bee line hemp wicks

$1.99

Butane lighters can absolutely torch the terps in your flower, leaving you with a taste you don’t recognize.

Bee Line’s hemp wicks are made with organic hemp and organic beeswax, providing you with a lower temperature flame that’s a better bet for your lungs and your tastebuds.

Sign up for our email newsletter and stay tuned for the next section of the Leafly 2020 Holiday Gift Guide.

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Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the

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Shopify president says pandemic sped shift to online retail by decade

Harley Finkelstein, COO, Shopify

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Few companies were as well-positioned for a global pandemic as Shopify.

Founded in 2006 to help physical retailers establish a web presence, Shopify offers easy-to-deploy cloud software so small businesses don’t have to do the heavy lifting of going digital. When Covid-19 forced stores to shudder, Shopify’s technology suddenly became essential.

Shopify shares have more than doubled this year, boosting the company’s market cap to $118 billion. That puts it about even with Zoom and behind only Salesforce among pure cloud-software companies and Microsoft and Adobe, if you include legacy vendors that have transitioned to the cloud. It’s also the most valuable company in Canada, just ahead of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Now, Shopify is gearing up for its busiest season of the year, or what Harley Finkelstein, the company’s president, calls “our Super Bowl” — Thanksgiving weekend. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday three days later, Americans traditionally do a huge amount of their holiday shopping. Shopify even has an acronym for the long weekend — BFCM.

Because so many brick-and-mortar stores remain closed, with coronavirus cases spiking across wide swaths of the U.S., Shopify is expecting the 2020 shopping rush to be like none before it. According to eMarketer, retail sales on Black Friday are expected to surge 39% from last year to over $10 billion, while Cyber Monday is projected to see a 38% increase to almost $13 billion.

Finkelstein sat down with CNBC via video chat last week to talk about the wild year for the company and what Shopify expects over the holidays.

Here’s the full Q&A: 

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2020 Gift Guide for Nerds who have everything

Despite the unique state of the world here at the tail end of 2020, the holiday gift-giving season still approaches. Despite the global pandemic through which we’re still living, we’ve still got a hankering to buy gifts for friends and family. We might not hand-deliver said gifts this year, but the need to wrap remains! The guide you’re looking at today is made for the nerdy individual in your life – you know the sort.

Take heed: This gift guide does not include smartphones, tablets, vehicles, or really any other sort of product that’ll decimate your wallet with no hope of revival. This is a gift guide for presents you’ll buy for your relatives and friends. There are no smart assistant speakers here!

NOTE: We’ll be adding items to this list over the next couple weeks, too!

3Doodler PRO+

If you’re looking for a gift that’ll keep you or a loved one busy for hours on end, the 3Doodler PRO+ can do it. This is a 3D printing pen, a device that essentially melts a variety of material through its pen tip, allowing the user to create all manner of objects in real time.

Dungeons & Dragons gear

We’re living in strange times, times where imagination and the escape of fantasy are more important than ever. As such, your gift-getting friend or family member might very well be all about Dungeons & Dragons right about now.

Above you’ll see two unique and officially licensed pieces of Dungeons & Dragons gear. One is a “Dungeons & Dragons Dice Umbrella” from Bioworld. This umbrella is a statement piece, to be sure. Next to the umbrella you’ll find a sizeable D20, a 20-sided die (which makes a pretty awesome box to open in a gift) that contains three sets of crew socks. These, too, are distributed by Bioworld.

UPDATE: If you’re not able to find this particular box set, Bioworld distributes a whole bunch of other awesome officially licensed sock designs – worth a peek.

You’ll also see items above from the folks at SELECT START. They’ve created a collection of fashionable and officially licensed Dungeons & Dragons items, too. You’ll find these at Select-Start.com in the Dungeons & Dragons section.

Razor E Prime III Electric Scooter

The Razor E Prime III Electric Scooter allows its rider to jet around the block with the greatest of ease. Having a scooter like this won’t be particularly useful in the deep darkness of the holiday season’s winter if you live anywhere there’s snow. But come spring, this is a gift that’ll roll, and keep on rolling.

Razer BlackShark V2

The Razer BlackShark V2 gaming headset represents the most excellent over-ear headphones I’ve reviewed in a long while. They’re bold, comfortable, and they’re ready to plug in to a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. They also include a USB DAC and detachable microphone, as well as a carrying bag. See our Razer BlackShark V2 Review and find the headphones you’ll want to consider if your nephew or

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Multiple People Shot at Wisconsin Shopping Mall: Reports

Multiple people were shot at a Wisconsin shopping mall on Friday, according to multiple news reports.



Google Maps


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On Friday afternoon, shortly before 3 p.m., Wauwatosa police responded to reports of someone opening fire at the Mayfair Mall, WISN and BNONews reports.

According to emergency radio traffic, multiple people were shot in the incident, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  However, the victims’ conditions remain unknown. It’s also unclear how many victims were shot.



It's still unclear how many victims were shot


© Google Maps
It’s still unclear how many victims were shot

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Police remain on the scene while shoppers inside are currently being told to shelter in place.

An official with the Wauwatosa Police Department could not be reached by PEOPLE for confirmation.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for new developments.

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