Purchasing cigarettes from online international sellers sounds like a great deal! However, some sellers are scammers, and they can land you in trouble with the law.
How the Scam Works
You hear that you can save money on cigarettes by buying online from international sellers. You search, and find a site that looks legitimate. It has photos of big brand names, and the cigarettes are a great price. It’s less than half of what you pay in the US or Canada.
You decide to buy a few cartons. Some sites have a five or 10 carton minimum. When you are ready to check-out, you notice the seller doesn’t accept credit cards. You need to pay by wire transfer or prepaid debit card.
Don’t do it! The seller will take your money and confirm the order shipped - but your cigarettes will never arrive.
How to spot an online sales scam:
Learn more about buying cigarette online at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s website https://www.ttb.gov/tobacco/tobacco-faqs.shtml
It’s important to adhere to local tax regulations. Be sure to follow the laws in your state.
For Canadian information visit http://www.dutyfreecanada.com/customs-allowances/.
To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker bbb.org/scamtracker