Fake Online Textbook Retailer Swindles Money from College Students

BBB Consumer Alerts
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BBB Serving Metro New York is alerting the public about Booktiz, an online bookseller claiming to be located in New York that appears to offer textbooks and educational material.

Consumers have reported to BBB that payments are processed upon ordering books from the Booktiz website, however, shipment tracking notifications are not received within the expected time frame after orders are placed. Reports filed indicate that multiple attempts to contact the company via an info@ email address are unsuccessful, and books are not delivered. Many complainants noted that the “contact us” button on the website does not function and the website does not list a telephone number.

Since May 3, 2019, BBB has received 31 consumer complaints and 42 negative reviews. In addition, 14 Scam TrackerSM reports citing Booktiz have been received by BBB. BBB Metro New York has assigned the company an “F” rating.

Reports have been received from individuals in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Almost all the complaints noted their attempted purchases related to textbooks needed for classes.

The company website at https://booktiz.com was live as of June 3, 2019, and lists an address at 106 Mosco St, New York City, NY 10013. A Google street map image shows the address to be a street-level restaurant. A Whois domain name search of the website shows that it was privately registered on March 29, 2019, to an address in Panama. A search of the New York State Department of Corporations website finds no entity registered in New York.

On May 16, BBB Metro New York wrote Booktiz to request substantiation of advertising claims posted on its website that are in violation of the BBB Code of Advertising. The business has not responded to this request.

To avoid falling victim to fake online booksellers, BBB Metro New York recommends that students:

  • Read the information carefully on a website. If it lists an address, do a search to see if it might be a legitimate address. Check for a working telephone number.
  • Review the website for obvious grammatical or spelling errors, which may be a sign of a fake site.
  • Check BBB.org  to see what has been reported. Read consumer complaints and reviews, and the company’s response to those reviews and complaints.
  • Search BBB Scam TrackerSM to see if others have reported issues about a company, and read what others may be saying elsewhere online.

Source: BBB.org

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to https://www.bbb.org

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