Online shopping

Better Business Bureau reports more online shopping scams

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — A new report warns that online scams are on the rise and more people are shopping online during the pandemic.

“At the Better Business Bureau, I would say about 40% of online complaints are about online shopping,” said Bobby Hansen of the Better Business Bureau.

Hansen says Iowa is no exception to the rise of online shopping scams. Their Scam Tracker shows that online shopping complaints nearly doubled in the last year, and 2021 should see even more. “Our advice is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Hansen added.

He says scammers are taking advantage of supply chain issues. Fake websites will lure buyers with hard-to-find items or deals on things that have risen in price in recent months.

The Federal Trade Commission says that online shopping scams are also one of the most successful types of fraud. 69% of cases involved someone losing money.

To avoid being one of them, Hansen says to be wary of big deals, especially on hard-to-find items. Hansen also says to use a credit card. Some scammers need PayPal, knowing that it’s harder to get your money back.

“It’s {money} gone right now,” Hansen said. “But a credit card, you have some ability to recoup your loss.”

Hansen also suggests shopping in person to pick the item you like and to avoid online scams.

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