Influx of online scams targeting people who are already shopping for the holidays

The early start of shopping this holiday season is making consumer watchdogs nervous, especially with so much shopping done online. (Shutterstock)

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SALT LAKE CITY – Imagine ordering something online but never getting it. It’s just called the online shopping scam and it has been a thorn in the side of consumers and consumer watchdogs for years. But 2021 is set to see this scam explode with more victims than ever as people desperately search for hard-to-find gifts for the next holiday.

“We hear a lot about supply chain disruptions,” Bankrate’s Ted Rossman recently told KSL investigators.

Rossman explained that supply chain issues resulting from the coronavirus pandemic that have impacted everything from toilet paper to cars will also impact toys, electronics and other items on the list. holiday wishes. So the advice is to shop early, which Bankrate found most people through their survey.

“Half of holiday shoppers start before Halloween,” Rossman said.

The early start of shopping this holiday season is making consumer watchdogs nervous, especially with so much shopping done online. “The pressure is starting to build up, which means the scams will also start to escalate,” said Britta Clark of the Better Business Bureau of Utah.

Clark said the BBB is still seeing an increase in scams when shopping online during the holidays. With more people shopping early, she fears more victims may be trapped. “They order something from this website from this company and then they never get it,” she said.

According to data collected by the BBB and shared with KSL investigators, online shopping scams have just risen to the list and are now the “riskiest No. 1s” for consumers. They account for over a third of all scams reported to the BBB, and four in five victims lose money.

Take your time, research what you are about to buy.

–Britta Clark, Better Business Bureau of Utah

As supply chain issues make some vacation desires hard to find, shoppers may be particularly likely to quickly click “buy now while supplies last” and Clark said this was the last thing shoppers. online shoppers should do.

“Take your time, research what you are about to buy,” she urged.

According to BBB data, so far in 2021, people who have bought something and didn’t get it lose an average of $ 102.

If you shop online, remember this: you only have a short time to dispute a credit card debit – usually 90 days. If a seller tells you they need extra time to get your order to you due to supply chain issues, it could be a trick. They might run out of time on this dispute window, which will prevent you from getting help from your credit card company if your order never shows up.

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