BBB offers tips for safe Cyber Monday shopping amid increasing scams

BBB warns of Craigslist contractor who fails to complete work
BBB warns of Craigslist contractor who fails to complete work(Source: Better Business Bureau)
Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 10:23 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - In 2020, Cyber Monday sales reached over ten billion dollars. The Better Business Bureau of Southwest Louisiana estimates 57% of shoppers will go online this season despite the shipping backlog at U.S. ports.

“If you order something online, there’s chance you may get it and there’s a chance you may not get it,” shopper Melvin Sonnier said. “You may get it three weeks later and Christmas is gone by then.”

Even though you can find some of the best deals from home, it’s important for shoppers and sellers to remember online scams could be hiding behind some of those sales.

“[I’ve been scammed] one time, it will never happen again,” Sonnier said.

“There’s a lot of scams out there,” Goddin. “You just have to make sure you’re buying from reputable people.”

That’s also a tip the BBB is offering to shoppers this Cyber Monday along with checking product reviews, shopping from trustworthy sellers, and understanding return policies. Cyber crooks may also be taking advantage of supply chain bottle necks by offering gift cards for items.

“That is the number one red flag right there is anytime someone says go get a gift card or a VISA card or anything like that to make the payment - chances are you are in the process of being scammed,” Angela Guth with the BBB of Southwest Louisiana said. “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

It’s especially difficult during the holidays to meet demand and to be on guard from a business standpoint as well. Business owner Sarah Goddin says she’s run into problems during past seasons.

“Just buyers not paying or things like that or doing charge backs but for the most part the platforms cover you,” Goddin said. “Ebay covers you if something happens and the buyer messes up.”

There seem to be less protections for shoppers which is why some are choosing not to shop online this holiday season.

“I don’t shop online because there are a lot of scammers out there and they always getting your money or your credit card number or something so I just don’t do it,” Sonnier said.

The BBB also recommends shopping with a credit card or third party account like Pay Pal. That way it’s easier to dispute a charge if you do fall victim to a scam.

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