BBB warns shoppers of holiday scammers

With many people getting their Christmas shopping done early, scammers are in season.

They are trying their best to get your cash, using some creative online schemes.

A new report from the Better Business Bureau shows a surge in online purchase scams during the pandemic.

“I've been doing this for 33 years and this is the worst I've ever seen scams,” said Steve Bernas, president and CEO of the BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois.

The report by the Better Business Bureau shows this year that 80 percent of consumers have reported online purchase scams and lost money. That is up from 24 percent in 2019.

“It's quite alarming,” Bernas said.

He says most consumers are looking for a great sale price and that is why they fall victim.

“Our study has shown that the number one source of complaints were through Facebook ads and second was Google,” Bernas said.

Jeremy Treister, who is the owner and president of CMIT Solutions of Chicago Downtown, says when paying, use methods like PayPal or a credit card.

“There's a lot more protections with a credit card than a debit card,” he said.

The Better Business Bureau says if anyone wants you to pay unconventionally by gift certificates or by wiring money, that that’s a red flag.

“That is the tip off to the rip off,” Bernas said.

Remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.