Holiday scams on the rise

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Normally this time of year shoppers are preparing to stand in line for hours awaiting the season’s black friday deals.

But due to the pandemic, a large majority of holiday shoppers will be searching for bargains on their computers this year- and scammers will be busy searching for them.

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“Last year 65 percent of people said they did do online shopping. That number is going to increase by at least 10 percent, to 75 percent. It’s only going to go up. There will be more online opportunities for scamming and fraud activities,” says Jim Winsett, President of the Better Business Bureau. 

So far, scam complaints to the Better Business Bureau from January to October of  this year have topped 1,180,000. This is already higher than last  year’s total of 1,156,000.

The Better Business Bureau says if you are shopping online you need to do your research not only about the product you are buying- but also about the website you are buying it from. 

“ As you start the shopping process, you want to make sure your computer equipment is up to date with antivirus software. As you get onto a website make sure you don’t click links that take you to another website,” says Winsett. 

Officials want shoppers to be aware of phishing emails that seek the buyer out with offers of “too good to be true” deals or claim to be a name brand store.

They also encourage you to always use a credit card for online purchases, and to report fraudulent activity to either the BBB or law enforcement.