BBB tips to avoid scams this holiday season

With the rise of holiday shopping, scammers are looking for an easy target. This is why the Better Business Bureau offers tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

Steve Bernace, BBB’s president and CEO, does not talk about the crowds in the mall – or the pop ads online. Bernace, however, talks about shopping and thieves scoring their own deals.

“This is my 34th year at the Better Business Bureau. I’ve never seen it so bad right now,” Bernace said. “They come at them with everything against people. Every day there is a new twist to a different scam. That is why consumers need to be educated. ”

Scammers know there is an accumulated demand from the pandemic.

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales could grow as much as 10.5% to $ 850 billion over last year. A large part of it, bought online, which is convenient but poses risks.

Online fraud was the biggest complaint to the Better Business Bureau in 2020.

If you want to protect yourself, take a closer look at the URL. But here’s a big “do not,” Bernace says.

“Do not follow a link. Go directly to the site itself. Go through Google, do not follow a link. There is really zero trust in these links,” Bernace said. “Many of the scams are on Facebook and other social media where these ads appear. up because they see you, they’re big brother, they know what you’re looking at. “

Bernace says one “do” is to look for the online retailer’s information before making a purchase.

“Make sure they have a phone number or a physical address, that they pick up the phone, because like I mentioned, you can not see if it’s a scam or a real site,” Bernace said.

Sometimes a big clue can be a price that consumers know is too good to be true in their hearts. But that, of course, applies to all forms of shopping.

“Of course know the price of the product you want to buy. Everyone has these doorbuster sales, whether it’s online or offline, for guess what? Next week we’ll get consumers at Better Business Bureau saying it was not a doorbuster, the cheapest I could have gotten. ” said Bernace.

To avoid paying too much or getting something you would not want, Bernace says, prepare.

“Do the training in advance. Know the prices, follow the prices,” Bernace said. what? Oh, we no longer have that, but we have a whole selection, so that’s where consumers fall into a trap. ”

And if you are confused, try this reliable website:

“It’s that simple. There’s so much information out there,” Bernace said. “Check with the Better Business Bureau. We can find companies you can trust on our site, and you can also find the bad actors. “


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