It’s The Holiday Season! Shop Safe, Shop Smart

News

Believe it or not, the 2021 holiday shopping season is upon us and promises to be an unpredictable one. The labor shortage and supply chain issues are already throwing a wrench into holiday shopping.

Electronics, toys, and other products will be (or already are) in short supply, and retailers are struggling to staff up as the shopping season nears.

Just like in 2020, people are planning to start their holiday shopping early. Watch out for deals well before Black Friday sales. Retailers are also expecting to see even more people shopping online.

Product shortages and increased online shopping are likely to result in even more online purchase scams this year. These scams accounted for nearly 40% of all scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker in 2020, according to the 2020 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. Shortages are likely to make purchase scams even more common as desperate shoppers turn to shady websites in hopes of finding this year’s must-have gift.

BBB recommends the following tips to “Shop Safe, Shop Smart” this holiday season:

  • Research before you buy. Use BBB.org and shopper reviews to do your homework before paying. Look for the BBB seal. BBB Accredited Businesses pledge to uphold the BBB Standards for Trust and to deal fairly with consumers. If a business displays a BBB seal, verify it by going to BBB.org.
  • Make sure the website is secure.Look for the “https” in the URL (the extra s is for “secure”) and a small lock icon on the address bar. Never enter payment or personal information into a website with only “http” – it is NOT secure. Check the URL, watch for bad grammar, research the age of the domain, and search for contact information. Additionally, shipment tracking information can be falsified. Look closely to make sure it is a legitimate business. Avoid clicking on the tracking link; go to the ‘shipper’s website and type in the code to see if it is real.
  • Use secure and traceable transactions and payment methods. According to BBB’s research, those who paid with a credit card were less likely to lose money. Be cautious when paying by digital wallet apps, prepaid money cards, or other non-traditional payment methods. Learn more about payment types and how to use each safely.
  • If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers have access to tools they need to learn about your buying behaviors, offering exactly what you want at enticingly low prices. The top motivating factor for people who made a purchase, then lost money was price. Don’t shop on price alone. Also, professional photos do not mean it’s a real offer. Respondents reported that website photos motivated them to engage with scammers, especially for pets/pet supplies, clothing/accessories, and vehicles.
  • Report unsatisfactory purchase experiences to BBB. If you are unhappy with a purchase,file a complaint at BBB.org/complaints. If you never got what you paid for, consider reporting it to BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker) to help other consumers avoid being scammed.

Source: BBB.org

If you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. To find a business you can trust, check out BBB.org.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News