Holiday Scams are on the rise. The Better Business Bureau advises “If you’re planning to get festive with Christmas, or other holiday decorations, keep your eyes open for the holiday decoration scam.” BBB Scam Tracker has received complaints about false advertisements and phony promises for holiday decor.
One consumer reported the following experience: “I ordered a giant 7-foot pumpkin head and giant 7-foot skeleton with LED eyes and sounds. What I finally got in the mail after almost a month was two rubber 7-inch dolls that sort of looked like what they were advertising. This company will not reply to their emails, which is the only means of communicating. The items looked amazing online, but the store is a total scam.”
- Do your research before you buy. Before you make a purchase on an unfamilar website, check out the company. Make sure they have working contact information. This should include a telephone number, email address, and, preferably, a physical address. Look on other websites for reviews of the company and reports of scams. You can always look for business ratings and customer reviews on BBB.org.
- Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Keep in mind that large decorations that involve special lights and technology are expensive. If you find something amazing for cheap, it could be a scam.
- Don’t make quick purchases on social media. Scam advertisers can track your buying habits from social media ads and then target you with specific products they think you’ll fall for. Don’t buy anything on impulse while scrolling through your feed. Do research first to avoid getting scammed.
- Always use your credit card for online purchases. Credit card companies allow you to dispute fraudulent charges, a resource you may not have at your disposal if you purchase an item with a debit or gift card.For more information
Review the BBB Tip: Shop Safe and Shop Smart this Holiday Season for more ways to protect yourself from scams while holiday shopping.
If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim to scams. Find more information about scams and how to avoid them at BBB.org/AvoidScams.