Consumer Catch-up: Warriors ticket fraud, Sears closing more stores, Kohl's bets on toys, car payments hit all-time high, hashtag license plates

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Sears announces it is closing more stores, plus soon you may be able to add a hashtag to your license plate. The consumer news you need to know for Thursday, May 31, 2018. (KGO-TV)

Warriors warn about NBA Finals scams

As the Golden State Warriors gear up to play the Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, they are sending out a warning about ticket fraud from unverified third party sellers.

The Warriors say last year, fraudulent tickets increased by 70 percent during the NBA Finals. The team says during this year's regular season, more than 800 fans were denied access to games because of counterfeit tickets.

Warriors.com is the team's official resale marketplace. There, tickets are 100 percent guaranteed by the Warriors organization.

Fans can also call 1-888-GSW-HOOP or purchase tickets at the Oracle Arena Box Office.

Sears closing more locations

More Sears stores will be closing in the next few months, as the company deals with falling sales and increased losses.

Today the company confirmed at least 48 nonprofitable Sears locations and 15 Kmart locations will close by September 2018.

The two had 3,500 U.S. stores between them when they merged in 2005, but have closed almost 400 stores in the past year.

None of the locations selected for closing are in the Bay Area. You can find the list of closing stores here.

Sears says eligible employees who work at the closing stores will receive severance, and will be able to apply for open positions at other stores.

Sears has lost more than $11 billion since 2010, its last profitable year.

Kohl's adding more toys

Kohl's is banking on more toys in its stores to bring in customers.

The retailer made the announcement as Toys "R" Us winds down its operations for good.

Kohl's says it will expand its toy selection by adding LEGO products, as well as toys from FAO Schwarz. The expansion will happen this fall.

Car payments hit all-time high

The average car buyer is paying more each month than ever before. That's according to a new study from Experian.

The credit reporting agency found in the first quarter of 2018, the average car payment was $523 a month. That's $15 more than the year before.

Experian also says the average car loan is $921 more now than in 2017, totaling $31,455.

Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive financial solutions, warns that the dream of owning a new car is becoming tougher to achieve. "To reverse the trend, dealers and lenders need to better understand the data and explore different options to make new vehicle ownership accessible and appealing," she says.

The good news is, more car owners with loans are paying them on time. The percentage of people who were 30-days delinquent on their car loan dropped in the first quarter.

Hashtags on CA license plates

Drivers in California may soon see hashtags on the roads. Governor Brown is considering a Senate bill that would allow the DMV to issue a special license plate with the hashtag symbol.

Money from the personalized plates would be used to fund veteran housing and homelessness prevention programs.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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