ON YOUR SIDE: BBB warns of scams ahead of holiday season

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 5:18 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Criminals are waiting to take advantage of your holiday cheer with fake websites. The Better Business Bureau wants you to be vigilant.

Tamara Hunter fell victim to this.

”I had just moved to Missouri, I mean, just moved and from across the states, and left my family there, my kids, my grandkids,” said Hunter.

She was looking to get a puppy and fell in love with this one online. His name was Oscar.

”I should have known then what was happening because it should have been pretty straightforward. However, I don’t usually buy like this online,” said Hunter.

The Better Business Bureau says fake pet scams are some of the most common, at 18% of all online retail scams this year. Hunter was running into a ton of issues.

”I started researching a little bit more. I found Oscar’s picture attached to the phone number on a scam alert kind of thing. I’m like, okay, that to Oscar look like so many months ago or a year ago or something, I was sure Oscar doesn’t look like that now. I’m sure that Oscar is not on his way to me. So I did a fair amount of crying,” said Hunter.

She says she got scammed out of hundreds of dollars.

The Better Business Bureau says there are ways you can check before buying. One is looking at the website link. It should have HTTPS starting at the beginning.

“(Look to see) that HTTPS in the web address shows that it’s a secure site. As I said, 36% of online reports from consumers tell us that their online retail fraud came from a fake website,” said Pamela Hernandez with the Better Business Bureau.

A BBB study shows that online retail fraud losses are estimated to be $380 million in 2022 alone.

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