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Metro Atlanta BBB warns vacation shoppers against online shopping scams – CBS Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) – Product and labor shortages are driving more consumers to shop online for the holidays. That’s why the Better Business Bureau predicts more online shopping scams. They shared some tips to make sure you’re “shopping safe and buying smart”.

Many shoppers in the Atlanta metro area are heading to the stores to do their first Christmas shopping. Yet millions of consumers do their vacation shopping online.

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“I’m wary of doing it. If I can’t go to the store to pick it up, then I don’t want to do it,” said Fulton County resident Katrina Kenney.

“If I do, it’s a reputable service, maybe Home Depot or something of that nature. I’ll order it and go to the store to pick it up,” said Rosa Cantrell, who lives in County County. DeKalb.

“Just make sure you have a fairly safe site if you’re going to shop online,” said Cobb County resident Floyd Johnson.

Supply chain issues and product and labor shortages are driving more people to buy online. As a result, the BBB expects more online shopping scams.

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“Scammers have tools to plot and track exactly what you’re looking for,” said Simone Williams, BBB spokesperson for Metro Atlanta, Athens and NE Georgia.

A BBB report shows that online shopping scams accounted for more than 40% of all scams in 2020. The bureau shared several tops to help consumers avoid these scenarios.

“They have to research before they buy. We encourage consumers to visit BBB.org and look at buyer reviews to do your homework before buying anything online,” Williams said.

If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, instead of using online gift cards and digital apps, they recommend using credit cards.

“When a consumer uses a credit card, they can actually dispute that transaction if they haven’t received the product,” Williams said, adding that consumers should be careful of fake websites and tracking information. expeditions. “Go to the sender’s website, then enter the code to see if it’s real.”

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Here’s a full list of BBB tips for “Buying Safely, Buying Smartly” this holiday season:

  • Do research before you buy. Use BBB.org and reviews from buyers so do your homework before paying. Also read our tips for spot bogus reviews.
  • If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The main motivating factor for people who made a purchase and then lost money was price. Don’t buy on price alone.
  • Beware of fake websites. Check the URL, watch for grammar mistakes, find the age of the domain, and find contact information. See BBB’s tips for identify a fake website.
  • Professional photos do not mean this is a real offer. Respondents indicated that website photos encourage them to engage with scammers, particularly for pets/pet supplies, clothing/accessories, and vehicles.
  • Make sure the website is secure. Look for the “https” in the URL (the extra “s” is for “secure”) and a small padlock icon on the address bar. Never enter payment or personal information on a website with only “http” – it is NOT secure.
  • Be careful when buying sought-after products, especially during the holiday season. The risk of online shopping scams increases during the holidays as more people shop online and scammers offer the hottest products for the season at great prices.
  • Beware of quick purchases while browsing social networks. Scammers have access to the tools they need to learn your shopping behaviors, offering exactly what you want at rock-bottom prices.
  • Look for the BBB seal. BBB Accredited Businesses are committed to upholding the BBB Trust Standards and treating consumers fairly. If a company displays a BBB seal, verify it by visiting BBB.org.
  • Use secure and traceable transactions and payment methods. According to BBB research, those who paid with a credit card were less likely to lose money. Be careful when paying by digital wallet apps, prepaid cards or other non-traditional payment methods. Learn more about payment types and how to use them safely.
  • Shipment tracking information can be falsified. Look carefully to make sure this is a legitimate company. Avoid clicking on the tracking link; go to the sender’s website and type in the code to see if it’s real.
  • Count on BBB to help you “buy safe, buy smart”. More tips are available at BBB.org/vacation-advice.
  • Report unsatisfactory shopping experiences to BBB. If you are unhappy with a purchase, submit a complaint to BBB.org/complaints. If you never received what you paid for, consider reporting it to BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker) to help other consumers avoid being scammed.
    Read more BBB Vacation Tips.
  • Only buy from companies that adhere to BBB standards for trust. Learn more about BBB accreditation standards.