MARLBOROUGH, MA — Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont (BBB) has narrowed down the top scams affecting the community during the month of August using BBB’s Scam Tracker, with online shopping scams currently the number one scam circulating the area.
Last month, 12 online shopping scams were reported to the local BBB, resulting in over $8,470 lost. Many of the reports involved online pet purchases, where scammers have built websites using stolen photos and content from reputable breeders. They promise to send a puppy to you after money has been wired, but will add on additional fees or disappear completely after you have paid a certain amount of money.
One consumer reported that the scammer told them they must purchase insurance or else they would not ship their pet to them. By the time the victim realized there was no pet coming, they had lost a total of $1,550.
Other online shopping scams include reports that 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.
BBB advises consumers to 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.
If you believe you have fallen victim to an online shopping scam, report it to bbb.org/scamtracker to help warn others. BBB also shares Scam Tracker information with government and law enforcement agencies, so every piece of information is helpful in tracking down scammers.
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 bbb.org.
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.
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