Better Business Bureau warns public about holiday scammers

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As you get ready to shop for your loved ones this holiday season, staffers with the Better Business Bureau want to make sure you’re shopping safely. 

As consumers flock to store shelves or wait for the latest deal online, thieves are watching. 
The holiday season means big business for scammers and Kelvin Collins with the Better Business Bureau says being proactive is the key to staying protected. 
“It’s very important to make sure that you are dealing with a brick and mortar company, not just a click and order company,” Collins said. 
New tips from the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection are warning shoppers to be cautious when buying online. 
“You have more recourse in the beginning, before you ever spend the money, making sure you’re on a reputable site,” Collins said. 
According to officials with the Better Business Bureau, an “s” after the http in your address bar means it’s a secure site and it’s safe for you to use.
Collins says don’t let a good website design fool you, con artists are creating beleivable links — that turn out to be scams. 
He also adds using your credit card is safer than cash, checks, or debit cards. 

“Be very aware of where you’re ordering when you are online,” Collins said. 
Perhaps the biggest trap, Collins adds, is donating to fake charities. in the spirit of giving, people are more likely to hand over cash to any group without doing research. 
“Anytime you receive a phone call from someone asking for money for a charity, make sure that you verify that you’re dealing with who you think you’re dealing with and who you want to be dealing with,” Collins said. 
Collins says make sure you ask questions, request paperwork, and look up their charity’s history.  
“Ask that charity that is calling to send you a copy of their 9-90. Their 9-90 tells them exactly where their money goes,” Collins said. 

Collins recommends verifying all charities and websites through give.org or the Better Business Bureau’s website. 

Categories: Local News

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