The holiday season should be a time of celebration. While online shopping makes things easier for consumers, it can do the same for thieves. Busy, high-spending times are the exact opportunity crooks look for to try and trick you out of your money or steal your identity.
1. Research firms at bbb.org before buying gifts. Beware of sites causing complaints ALL year round. Below are some examples.
Rosegal.com – F Rating | 11 Complaints
CUSTOMER REVIEW: “I paid for a bathing suit and never received it. They never respond to any messages and the customer service phone number is disconnected. I would never use this company again”.
Dresslily.com – F Rating | 294 Complaints
CUSTOMER REVIEW: “I would give no stars if that was an option. I have ordered twice; first order never arrived and they claimed I needed to pick it up from the post office which was not true (they basically said, too bad, too sad on that order). Second order, I ordered 3 items, received 1 right away, and other 2 are still missing; it's just a bunch of back and forth, check with your post office, so sorry please wait another 30 days. This company needs to be shut down”.
There are so many of these sites out there that there is a dedicated Facebook group of people who've been scammed/had a terrible experience with these sites and others that are similar.
2. Looking to earn a few extra bucks to expand your Christmas budget? Beware of Hijacked business profiles.
Recently Work-at-Home Scammers have hijacked local business profiles to get advanced fees, make promises of work from home and leave consumers without their money and job hopes. Below are a couple of the most common examples.
You’re told you can earn thousands of dollars a month. The ‘Scammer’ says that no experience is necessary because they have experts to coach you, and you’re pressured to pay for the opportunity right away. Once you pay, the ‘scammer’ says you won’t succeed unless you pay for more pricey services. Many people who pay for these are left with a lot of debt and not much else.
Other work-at-home offers tell you that you can make money doing tasks like internet searches on prominent search engines and filling out forms. You just have to pay a small shipping and handling fee. Later on, you learn that the company isn’t connected with a well-known search engine like it claims — scammers are just lying to get your credit or debit card information. If you pay them even a tiny fee online, they can use your financial information to put additional charges on your card.
For a small fee, the ad says, you’ll make lots of money stuffing envelopes. But after you pay, you find out there is no work. Instead, you get a letter telling you to get other people to buy the same envelope-stuffing opportunity or some other product. You earn money only if those people respond the same way you did “.
For more information about other work-at-home scams please visit the following link: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0175-work-home-businesses
3. So, you want to buy a new puppy for a Christmas gift?
Research breeders on BBB.org before attempting to buy that new puppy on the internet. Just taking a little extra time to research can save you a lot of headache and, more importantly, heartache.
World Class Boxer Puppies – F Rating | 469-209-9104
CUSTOMER REVIEW: “I contacted them in hopes of purchasing one of their boxer puppies with no problems. I paid $550 to buy and send this puppy to me. I then got an email confirmation saying he was on his way to me yesterday. When I got home from work, I got another email from West jet saying I needed to send them two payments of $951 for an electronic air conditioned crate to finish transporting the puppy to me. I contacted the breeders multiple times as soon as I got that email from WestJet. I left multiple voicemails and emails for the rest of that day trying to figure out what was going on. They finally got back to me about the dog Rocky asking what was going on. I haven't had any responses from them since this morning.”
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org.
There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Abilene and the Big Country, which was founded in 1970 and serves Taylor, Jones, Mitchell, Brown, Shackleford, Nolan, Scurry, Coleman Callahan, Fisher, Stephens, Eastland, & Runnels counties. www.bbb.org/abilene, 325-691-1533.