(WKBN) – Online shopping has grown into a big business, especially with the pandemic keeping people in their homes, but not all online purchases come as advertised.
It’s happened to many consumers across the country, they purchase something through websites they aren’t familiar with and end up with nothing.
“Oftentimes, the consumers that I have spoken to, they are looking for items that the stores are out of locally,” said Melissa Ames, vice president of BBB Services for the Better Business Bureau of Mahoning Valley.
Ames says one scam she hears about often is with highly-priced items. Consumers will buy an expensive product online that has a great deal, but after purchasing it, the website they used disappears. This leads consumers to lose their product and their money.
“I have seen it with designer clothing, phones, watches. Whatever it might be, whatever that high ticket item is and people aren’t able to get it in the stores,” Ames said.
The BBB has a way to track online shopping scams with their Scam Tracker. This tool on their website allows people to share any scam experiences to help others avoid being scammed.
“Put in the information that you had contacted the company with — maybe it was a phone number, maybe it was a website. This allows other people to see what scams are going on in the area,” Ames said.
Ames suggests looking for contact information for the online seller and researching the seller before buying their product.
“If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is,” Ames said.
More online shopping tips can be found on the BBB’s website.