Every year, there’s always a few “must-have” toys on most kids’ holiday wish list. The toy sells out fast and becomes expensive and hard to find. This year’s hot picks are Star Wars “The Child” Animatronic Edition (aka Baby Yoda) and a realistic toy dog. Scammers are using the toy’s popularity to trick parents out of their money.
How the Scam Works
You are looking for these toys, but they are sold out at every store you visit. So, you decide to look online. A quick search takes you to a page that miraculously has the toy in stock. The site may look professional and have original images of the product. It may even offer the product at discounted prices, claiming a “last-minute deal” or “flash sale.”
Unfortunately, many such offers are fake. In many cases reported to BBB.org/ScamTracker, buyers thought they were ordering a high-quality, animatronic toy. Instead, they received a cheap counterfeit version. When the dissatisfied customers tried to follow up with the company, they found that the staff either didn’t respond or refused to provide a refund.
For example, one shopper told BBB.org/ScamTracker that she thought she ordered a high-quality, animatronic puppy. “It was supposed to move and act like a real little dog. I wanted to get it for one of my great granddaughters. When I received the dog in the mail it was a small stuffed animal that you could get out of a machine at an arcade. ”
Another consumer reported paying $59.99 for a Baby Yoda toy that fell far short of their expectations. “It was supposed to be animated and make sound… When I finally got it, it is an ugly plastic hand puppet. I contacted them for a refund and an address to send it back. They say I have to pay for shipping, and it will be $20.00. And they will give me a 10% refund.”
Tips to Avoid Toy Scams
- Only buy toys from reputable stores and websites. The best way to avoid getting scammed when purchasing toys is to buy them directly from a seller you know and trust.
- Don’t be fooled by extra-low prices. Unreasonably low prices are a red flag for a scam on many products. Avoid making a purchase from a retailer you aren’t familiar with just because the price sounds too good to be true – it probably is!
- Research before you buy. If a company seems legitimate but you aren’t familiar with it, be extra careful with your personal information. Before offering up your name, address, and credit card information, make sure the company has a working customer service number.
For More Information
If you’ve spot a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim. If you see a questionable ad, report it to BBB AdTruth so we can investigate.