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BBB Warning To Holiday Shoppers: Watch Out For Online Scams

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The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan is reminding consumers to use caution when doing their holiday shopping especially - when making purchases online.  Officials say you need watch out for shopping scams.

The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan says online shopping scams have become the most common scam reported to the BBB Scamtracker.
Of all complaints where customers lost money, 64% of those reports so far in 2020 concern an online purchase. In 2015, just 13% of scams involving monetary loss were from online purchases. Increasingly, consumers are finding these problematic websites through social media. Here’s BBB’s Troy Baker.
“We’ve seen online sales scams increase every year over the holidays, but especially this year when more people are shopping on line, more want to avoid large crowds going in to the store because of COVID concerns. This really is the time when we’ll see an even larger increase in shopping scams than we have over the years.”
Thanksgiving and Black Friday have become of course, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. As such, the BBB has a number of tips for consumers, including what to use for your purchases.  
“When it comes to making a purchase online, use a credit card. If you don’t get the product you ordered, you have some protections with the credit card company, you can do a charge back, there’s a mechanism to get your money back.  If you use send them a gift card, if you send them a check, that money is harder to pull back. So, using a credit card is going to give you some of those protections.”
If you want the full report, or if you have concerns you can go to BBB.org and if you feel you may have been scammed, Baker says report it to their scam tracker at BBB.org/scam tracker.