According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) Halloween spending is expected to reach a record breaking 9.1 billion this year. Scammers will try to cash in on this trend as well. BBB is offering the following advice to help you avoid chilling cons and keep your holiday perfectly frightening.
Whether you’re shopping for your little ghost or goblins costume, or perhaps for yourself. (Who says the kids get to have all the fun?) Maybe you have decided to turn your home into a haunted manor to enchant the neighborhood children. Below are tips to find the perfect costume or decor without any terrifying surprises.
Shopping locally? Take the time to decide whether the item is exactly what you want before making a purchase. Determine the store's refund and return policies before you buy. Due to the nature of Halloween costumes and decor many retailers have a no refund policy.
Considering renting a costume? Check the condition of the costume carefully, try it on and note any defects it may have with the costume owner. Read over the rental agreement carefully and make sure you make note of the rental period.
Shopping online? Check a site’s security settings. If the site is secure, its URL (web address) should start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase or shopping cart page. BBB handles more than 10,000 complaints each year about internet shopping, for complete tips for smart shopping online visit: bbb.org/shoppingonline
Want to attend a hair raising party, special event or visit a haunted house? Before you purchase tickets do some quick research and make sure that there are no complaints about the business hosting the event.
Check out the business at bbb.org. Read what previous customers have to say, and see how the business responds to complaints.
Check BBB Scam Tracker and see if other consumers have filed a report about the event host.
Search the business online adding the word “Complaint”, “Reviews” or “Scam” after their name for different search results.
Beware of phishing and malware using Halloween treats that trick you into giving up your information. These scammers offer up free goods in return for your personal information. Three words: Don’t do it.
Finally, watch for clickbait on social media. Scammers will create fake news stories and use sensationalized headlines to get your attention on social media. If a site collects enough “likes,” scammers can turn around and sell the account for a profit. There is also potential for clickbait links to download malware or other viruses onto your computer. Look out for shocking stories pertaining to Halloween and be cautious with what you share.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB Serving Northeast Florida & The Southeast Atlantic was founded in 1987 and serves 57 counties.