Online purchase

Consumer Alert: Dozens of Hawaii Residents Fall Victim to Online Shopping Scams, What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Online shopping continues to be a popular option for people this year, but the Better Business Bureau is warning that scammers are using the names of popular retail businesses to steal money and information local residents.

The Better Business Bureau recommends being careful of links in text or email messages from popular retailers, as they could end up being fake.

“How they do it is they will do a lot of coupons, and we like that, don’t we? website, we place our order, and then nothing happens, and that person just got scammed,” said Roseann Freitas of the Better Business Bureau.

According to Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker, more than two dozen Hawaiians have fallen victim to online shopping scams since the start of 2021.

Freitas said that to avoid this, don’t click on the link provided in the text or email, but instead go to a browser and type in the company’s website instead.

There are red flags to watch out for, like if a coupon doesn’t have an expiration date or if the website doesn’t have a secure symbol.

She also said to be wary of deals on certain items like Clorox wipes, TVs, computers and furniture.

“I know we all like a bargain. But right now we have supply chain issues. And so it’s hard to get certain products, a company isn’t going to discount anything that’s hard to get right now,” Freitas said.

Scammers are not only out to steal money but also information through fake surveys, fake giveaways, and fake delivery alerts.

“Go back to your account with these companies, that’s really the best way to do it, try not to interact with them via text or necessarily email,” Freitas said.