Consumers who let down their guard during the hectic holiday season can easily fall prey to scammers poised to pounce on careless or overburdened shoppers, Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona warns.
BBB has identified five common scams that consumers should watch out for during the holidays, whether they’re shopping online, juggling packages at the mall or simply reading their email.
“While the rest of us are checking off items on our gift lists, scammers are blowing the dust off of their tried and true holiday scams,” said Kim States, BBB President. “By being vigilant, consumers can help turn holiday scams into ghosts of Christmases past.”
1. Online shopping scams: Everyone loves a great deal, but some websites offer electronics or luxury goods at prices that are too good to be true. Every holiday season, BBB hears from holiday shoppers who paid for a “great deal” online, but received little or nothing in return.
BBB advice: Always look for the BBB logo when shopping online and click on it to confirm that it is legitimate. If you’re shopping on sites that aren’t household names, check out their BBB Business Reviews at www.tucson.bbb.org. Confirm that the company has a physical address and telephone number.
2. Nabbing the season’s hottest toys and gadgets online: When stores sell out, you may find the items online at sites like Craigslist or eBay— but for a much steeper price. Some sellers will take your money and run, leaving you without the gift or money to buy it elsewhere.
BBB Advice: If you shop Craigslist, look for local sellers and conduct transactions in person. Bring a friend if you’re uncomfortable meeting the seller alone. Never wire money as payment. If you’re (more…)