How to prevent holiday scams

Local News

(WKBN)- Every year thousands of people get scammed over the holidays.

This is something we talk about every year because scammers are always finding new ways to trick people out of money. Brooke spoke with the Better Business Bureau about what they see this time of year and how to prevent yourself from becoming the next victim of a scam.

The biggest advice they have is to be careful where you’re shopping at. They’ve already had reports from people purchasing items from non reputable retailers online.

According to the Better Business Bureau, they’re seeing a lot of shortages for high ticket items, especially those with a chip, because of the supply chain issues.

They say if you’re not seeing these items at the big box stores. They can almost guarantee the other retailers don’t have the items too.

“They’re seeing them for a better price than what you’re finding at the big box stores so consumers are jumping at that. They’re putting in their name, they’re putting in their credit card information, and they’re being charged several hundred dollars for these items and guess what? They’re never getting them,” said Melissa Ames of the Better Business Bureau.

She recommends researching now because this year everything is going to come down to the wire on whether or not you’ll receive your items by the holidays and it’s all because of the backlog and supply shortages.

If you’re shopping online, there are a few things to be mindful of so you don’t lose money. The BBB says they can almost guarantee if the big box stores don’t have an item there’s a good chance the retailer you found online doesn’t either. They say having a marked down price is also something to watch out for.

One of the biggest red flags though is their contact page.

A lot of these phony websites will have a contact page, but it’s an input form where you put in your information.

“You’re not finding out their street address or their corporate address or their phone number where you can contact someone. It’s not really until you’re doing a deep dive into this website that you see that they are taking all of your information, but they’re not giving you any information about them and that is a huge red flag,” Ames said.

The BBB says to watch out for social media ads popping up as well, a lot of the times they lead to phony websites.

If you do get scammed, they say to make sure you keep all of your records so you can try to dispute the charge.

Right now they’ve only had some people report scams. They normally see a higher number of people reporting closer to the holidays because they realize they’re items are never coming.

If you’re still unsure of a website while doing your online shopping this year, you can always go to the BBBs Scam Tracker website.

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