BBB Warns Consumers of Online Shopping Scams

April 18, 2017

Marlborough, MA - Online shopping has shown to be a popular way for consumers to purchase products without leaving the house, searching through stores, or waiting in lines. While many of these online shops are reputable sources, a few have shown to be scamming shoppers out of money. Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI, & VT (BBB) is warning the community to beware of online shopping scams.

Reports to BBB Scam Tracker state that the consumer purchases clothing from a website, waits a long period of time for the delivery, and finds that the contact information is no longer in service when inquiring about the order.

“Services that provide these online shopping markets commonly advertise over social media to attract consumers that are shopping for stylish looks at relatively inexpensive prices,” said Paula Fleming, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer for the local BBB. “Many of these services are coming from reputable sources, but a few have shown to be scamming shoppers out of money.”

BBB warns shoppers of these common scams and offers tips for those looking to safely purchase items online:

Don’t ignore a misspelling. It’s easy for a scammer to mimic a well-known retailer’s website. Make sure you’re shopping with a legitimate site by checking the spelling of the brand’s name. Maybe the logo is different, or the name is missing a letter or added an extra letter, but know it’s not a mistake.

The ‘S’ is for secure. Be sure the site is secure by checking for the “https” and the lock symbol in the URL. Not sure if the business you’re hoping to purchase from looks legitimate? Lookup Customer Reviews and complaints of the business at

Use the right form of payment. Only pay with a credit card when shopping online. If your credit card number has been compromised, it’s much easier to cancel the payment and avoid further complications than with a debit card. Any other form of payment, such as a wire transfer, should never be used when shopping online.

Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation page or email confirmation until you receive your order and are satisfied. Be sure to know and understand the return policy and keep this documented with your purchase records.

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ABOUT BBB:  For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses, all available for free at 

The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national and international programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont was founded in 1920.
Paula Fleming is Chief Marketing & Sales Officer for Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT.  Find Paula on Google+.