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BBB warns of holiday online shopping scams

Springfield (MO) KYTV 11/22/2022 Anna Johnson
Online scams amp up during the holiday shopping season. © Provided by Springfield (MO) KYTV Online scams amp up during the holiday shopping season.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It’s a big week for holiday shopping, in-stores and online, and it’s a big opportunity for online scammers, that’s according to the Better Business Bureau.

The agency is warning of online shopping scams that have already cost Americans $380 million this year. They say scammers will entice shoppers with hard-to-find items, low prices and fast delivery through a fake website, social media or email.

The BBB recommends looking out for warning signs like:

· prices that are too good to be true

· websites that don’t look legitimate – they may not have https as a part of the web address, they may include misspellings or poor grammar

· credit card payment failures – the vendor may ask for payment using apps like Zelle, Venmo or Paypal, or even gift cards.

The Better Business Bureau says to use a credit card whenever possible, because of their fraud protections. They also suggest researching the business you want to buy from by doing the following:

· check bbb.org for bbb business profiles and consumer reviews

· search for online reviews

· review the website’s url for misspellings or other errors

· examine the url with Google’s transparency report tool

· use a map app to verify the business’s address

· make sure you can pay by credit card, which offers the most protection against loss

· treat a social media or email ad with suspicion until you have investigated the company behind it

If you are the victim of an online purchase scam the BBB says you can use their bbb scam tracker to report a scam online. You can also file a claim on the website for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – reportfraud.ftc.gov or call 877-ftc-help.

If your scam originates in Canada, you can contact the Canadian Antifraud Center online or call 1-888-495-8501 for scams.

If you did use your credit card to make a purchase involved in your scam, the BBB says to report the incident even if the transaction was not completed. Also, monitor your statements and if you suspect fraud, ask for a chargeback. It isn’t guaranteed, but many credit card companies will grant one.

More information is available on the Better Business Bureau website at BBB.org/scamstudies.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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