Don't fall for this scam when online shopping this holiday season

In this, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, file photo illustration, a person types on a laptop, in Miami. Photo: AP/Wilfredo Lee
In this, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, file photo illustration, a person types on a laptop, in Miami.

November 30, 2018 03:21 PM

With the holiday season in full swing, the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new online shopping scam.

According to the BBB, the scam begins when consumers find a website offering "amazing deals, often 50% cheaper than prices on established websites."


Once consumers purchase something from the site, they are sent a confirmation email with a tracking number from a shipping service.

Some versions of the scam simply send a fake tracking number, the BBB said, while in another variation the tracking number works at first, but the item is delivered somewhere else.

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The BBB also warned of another online shopping scam in which shoppers get shipping notices despite having made no purchase.

"The notice may say the shipper is having difficulty delivering a gift package to you," a release from the BBB states. "The email may contain a link that asks for personally identifying information, or that downloads malware onto your computer." 

The bureau offered several tips to help online shoppers avoid being tricked this holiday season:

  • Before buying online, confirm the site has real contact information. 
  • Don't click on links in unsolicited email.
  • If the price seems too good to be true, there's probably something wrong. 
  • Review BBB online shopping tips.

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Anthony Brousseau

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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