Better Business Bureau Warns Consumers of Scam Risks During Holiday Shopping
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping approaches, the Better Business Bureau wants shoppers to be aware of the potential of scamming that can occur this holiday season.
According to a release from the BBB Serving Central and South Alabama, scammers will look to take advantage of product shortages and an increase in online shopping.
The release states in 2021, online shopping Scam Tracker reports reached an all-time high. A BBB-wide study found that this year, financial losses across North America from online purchase scams could reach $380 million.
Alex Derencz, the communications manager of BBB of Central and South Alabama, said scammers thrive on need all-year round, but take matters to a higher level during the holidays because they know consumers desire to get items they need in a timely and cost-effective manner.
"The holiday season allows scammers to run a lot of plays in their playbook,” Derencz said. "They can get you with a phishing scam by sending you a fake package delivery notice. They can reel you into donating to a fake charity. They can even try and get you with an employment scam. Scammers are like kids in a candy store at the holidays."
BBB recommends these tips to protect shoppers from falling victim to scammers:
- Research before you buy
- If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- Make sure you use secure, trusted websites
- Be cautious about purchasing sought-after items
- Use payment methods that come with protection
- Avoid making quick purchases via social media
- Be wary of out-of-the-blue communications
- Research a charity before making the donation
Derencz said the most simply way to avoid becoming a victim is to shop with trusted, local retailers, both in-person and online.
BBB encourages consumers to report any suspicious scam activity to the new and improved BBB Scam Tracker, which can be found by clicking here.