Experts predict increase in online scams due to supply chain issues

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- This holiday season scammers are working hard to steal your money. Reports from the Better Business Bureau show online scams are the easiest scam to fall for.

“You may get a popup that looks like a legit company and they’re going to drive you to another site,” said Carmen Million, president and CEO for the south-central Louisiana Better Business Bureau.

The Better Business Bureau reports that in 2020, over 46 thousand scams were reported. The median loss was $115 dollars. If you do the math, that’s over five million dollars loss.

“If you go online and because of covid people are drawn to that,” said Million.

Million says scammers might take advantage of the current supply chain issues. Retailers are having trouble getting products because manufacturers don’t have enough workers or material shortages. Stores are urging consumers to get their shopping done as soon as possible.

“Online shopping has grown exponentially, but again the more people do that, the more apprentices scammers have to take advantage of you,” said Million.

Regardless of the economy’s inflation, more people are shopping than ever. The National Retail Federation predicts this holiday season to break records.

The BBB is providing the following tips for online scam prevention:

  • Be aware of deals that might look too good to be true.
  • Shop with a credit card because it provides additional protections than a debit or gift card.
  • Make sure the address bar matches the site you want to be on.
  • Before making a purchase, ask the vendor about their return policy.
  • 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.  

If you are between the ages of 18 and 24, you are more likely to be scammed. According to the BBB, the most common shopping scams are for pet and nutrition products.

“You can always file a complaint on the BBB website. We also have a link called scam tracker where you can log a scam,” said Million.

Online scams can be reported here.

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