LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– More and more shoppers are heading online this year to get their shopping done, but with holiday deals comes holiday scams.
6 New spoke with Troy Baker, the director of the Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan Education Foundation about what scams to be on the lookout for this year.
Baker says in 2015, of all the scams reported to the Better Business Bureau of people losing money, only 13% were online purchase scams. In 2020, that number was more than 60%.
“The number of people reporting scams where they lost money to an online purchase has jumped dramatically over the past five years and is only going to grow as more and more people turn to online shopping,” Baker added.
While every social media advertisement isn’t a scam, Baker says it’s the most common way people can get ripped-off.
“They’re scrolling through Facebook or scrolling through Instagram, see something they like, click it, buy it and then it never shows up,” said Baker.
He says it’s fine to be interested and look at products through a social media ad, but when it comes to buying them….”find that on a website that you already know and trust, it’s fine to identify those items that you’re interested in while you’re on social media,” said Baker.
He says they’re getting more and more complaints about online businesses that take you’re money and then disappear.
“If you don’t have experience on that website, you really should do some more looking and find it someplace that you do know is doing to get it to you in time and to just get it to you,” Baker added.
Baker suggests using a credit card if you make an online purchase, so you have a better chance to getting your money back if something does go wrong.
“If you send cash, if you use a wire transfer, if you use a gift card, that money is gone and there is not a good way of getting that back so anytime you’re buying something online, use that credit card and then keep an eye on your statements to make sure you’re not getting additional charges,” said Baker.
Tuesday is also Giving Tuesday and Baker says to be aware of any calls from people claiming to be a charity or non-profit asking for a donation. He says they might not be who they say they are or the money might not be going where you think. If you do want to donate to a charity or non-profit on Tuesday, Baker suggest to start researching who you’d like to give to and make sure they’re real.