The California Department of Fish and Wildlife warns that several unauthorized online websites are improperly charging customers extra fees for online fishing and hunting license purchases and may be collecting sensitive personal information as part of their unauthorized transactions.
“Because CDFW’s license sales offices and some independent license sales agent offices have been temporarily closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19, there has been a surge in online sales over the summer months,” said a release issued by the department. “Unscrupulous website operators and scammers are taking advantage of increased virtual traffic and the public should take extra precautions to ensure they do not fall victim to a scam.”
According to the release, California hunting and fishing licenses may properly be purchased in only one of four ways: online through the CDFW’s Automated License Data System, by calling CDFW’s authorized telephone sales agent at 800-565-1458; through the CDFW license sales office; or through an independent license sales agent authorized by the CDFW, such as a local sporting goods store, large discount store or bait and tackle shops.
“Since June 2019, six websites offering unauthorized license sales have been taken down at CDFW’s behest, and an additional two websites are in the process of being disabled,” stated the release.
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