Mid-South BBB warns of increasingly convincing scams as Christmas shopping gets underway

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 6:15 PM CST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On Thanksgiving night, the dishes will go in the sink, the leftovers will be stored, and Black Friday shopping will commence.

For those taking to online shopping, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for the Mid-South is warning consumers about scams that look to get a hold of your personal information and your money.

In an increasingly online world, scammers are becoming increasingly convincing in their attempts to trick you, especially during the Christmas shopping season.

“There are going to be millions of packages being delivered,” said Daniel Irwin, Public Affairs Director for BBB Mid-South. “Scammers are going to be out there looking for this. This is their Christmas too.”

Porch pirates will continue to be a thing, Irwin said, but what’s happening lately is the process leading up to the package’s arrival.

Irwin said the trend nowadays is messages sent about packages already en route to your house.

“[The message] may have a fake tracking number. There may be a message saying that they were unable to deliver your package or may ask you to update your delivery preferences,” said Irwin. “Most recently, what we’re seeing is requests for additional funds to deliver a package already in transit.”

It’s a scam, right away, according to Irwin. Here’s why:

“No legitimate company is ever going to ask for money or information for a package already in transit, and they’re never going to want you to pay that money via gift card, bitcoin, or wire transfer,” The BBB rep said.

For online shopping that results in packages being delivered, Irwin says to look out for fake websites when shopping on your phone.

Irwin says to check the website’s age through an online domain check.

If the site is only a few weeks old, it’s a safe call to stay away.

“Look at the links at the bottom of your screen,” Irwin advised. “You may see credit card links, a Visa link. If you hover over that link, and it does not go to Visa, that means that the link is not active. That means it’s a ripped link, and that is a telltale sign of a fake website.”

Above all, make safe choices and visit BBB’s website for scam trackers or to report a scam.

Safe shopping this holiday season!

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