TAMPA, Florida – Scammers are targeting online shoppers more than ever, according to the Better Business Bureau, which released its annual list of top holiday scams on Monday.
The most popular way for criminals to lure victims is by posting deceptive ads on social media.
“[Shoppers are] see these fancy ads appear on their social media ads. They click on the link. They are posted on a beautiful website. The product looks like something they want. They make a purchase and either this product is not delivered or it is a counterfeit, ”said Bryan Oglesby, spokesperson for the BBB of West Florida.
Oglesby said crooks are also using social media gift exchanges and mobile vacation apps to try to scam people.
“Do some research on the app. Know what information is being collected on your phone and just be a wise parent,” Oglesby said.
Other common scams include bogus alerts from “compromised” accounts, similar websites that look almost identical to those at large retailers, bogus charities, and vacation job ads that don’t exist.
Experts have said that scammers almost always have the same things in mind.
“They’re either trying to steal your personal identity. You are committing identity theft, maybe steal your credit card to shop online, or they’re trying to get money back from you,” Oglesby said. .
The Better Business Bureau urges consumers to check with the BBB if they have any concerns. Most questions can be answered on the organization’s website, BBB.org.