Red flags: Ways to protect yourself while shopping online

Red flags: Ways to protect yourself while shopping online
BBB warns of online scams (Source: WTVM)

(WECT) - Chances are you’ve seen ads pop up in your feed with the hot products of the season if you’re using social media.

It’s easy to get sucked in to make a purchase from one of these sites as they offer some of the most desirable items around, but don’t be fooled - if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

It doesn’t take potential scammers very long to create a legitimate looking website and Facebook page. From there, they can buy sponsored post ads, allowing them to show up in your social feeds.

Taking a little time vetting the company could save you some cash. There are some ways you can double check to see if the company is actually real before you hit the confirm button on your purchase.

One of the easiest thing to do is a quick search of the company online. Look to see if others have reported issues about the company or if there are any reports on the Better Business Bureau’s website.

Other things to check:

  • When was the Facebook post created? If it was recently created, that could be a red flag.
  • Are there dead links on the website? Fake websites are quickly built, so they may add things to give the appearance of a legitimate company, hoping to fool potential customers.
  • Pick up the phone. Try contacting the company before you make a purchase. You can also try to do a search on the phone number to see if Google reports it as a potential scam.
  • Search for the URL on, a website that helps buyers determine if a shop is legit or not.

When in doubt, stick to the reputable retailers you’re familiar with or shop local. If you have been a victim of a scam, click here to report it to the BBB.

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