Avoid last-minute shopping scams

Posted at 9:33 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 15:07:20-05

As the holidays get closer, and some of us are trying to locate that hard to find a gift online, we could be more vulnerable to falling victim to a scam.

This is the time of year when scammers know that we may be getting desperate, and less likely to be paying attention to signs of something being a scam.

Some of the things to watch out for are posts on Craigslist or ads on fake websites that advertise hard to find products at prices that are too good to be true, counterfeit or poor quality items being shipped or nothing shipped at all, and no way to contact the seller except via e-mail that often goes unanswered.

Here are some things that you can do to avoid getting scammed. Before you click on links, make a payment, or provide personal information like your address and phone number, you may want to search online for complaints about the company, seller, or alerts about the product.

Keep in mind that legitimate websites provide the seller’s street address, a phone number, return policy, and terms and conditions on their website. They also do a good job of making sure that graphics and grammar are sharp and free from spelling and grammatical errors.

If you are considering a purchase from a post on Craigslist or other sites, it may be a good idea to stay local and meet in person at a well lit, safe location, such as a police station.

When the gift arrives, check it over to be sure that it is as expected, in good condition and that all accessories are included.

If you experience a problem that you cannot get the company or seller to resolve, contact our Call 4 Action office for help. If you paid with a credit card, you may be able to contest the charge.