Kane In Your Corner: How to protect yourself from online shopping scams
Bed Bath & Beyond closed its retail stores earlier this year. But a Kane in Your Corner investigation found scammers are now using that to target victims and steal their money and personal information.
You may have seen the ads on social media – they’re hard to resist. Incredible prices, like inflatable water slides for under $20 - all supposedly due to the bankruptcy of Bed Bath & Beyond.
You’d have to look closely to see if the link took you to a different website. It really seemed too good to be true. And it turned out to be too good to be true. New York resident Ingrid Li admits she fell for it.
“I'm usually very careful,” Li said. “I guess there was a bit of greed involved, like, ‘Oh, my God, I didn't know I can get these things for almost nothing.’”
Melissa Companick, of the Better Business Bureau, says in the past month the agency has gotten over 100 reports about this scam. She says as soon as one bogus website was shut down, others popped up to take its place.
“It was kind of an interesting phenomenon that we've never seen here before at the BBB,” Companick said. “You pay for it and one of two things is going to happen: you're going to get nothing, or you're going to get something that is not remotely what you thought you were ordering.”
How to avoid falling for online shopping scams
Kane In Your Corner spoke to over a dozen victims who lost anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. And because they paid by credit card, some were victimized a second time when fraudulent purchases started popping up on their statements.
Experts say to be careful with links on social media. They say the safest approach is to type in the URL yourself.
In this case, people who did that would have seen Bed Bath & Beyond still exists as an online company. The brand was recently purchased by Overstock.
If you do get taken in, report the fraud to your credit card provider and ask for a new card number.
And above all, beware of deals that are just too good. This is a lesson that Li learned the hard way.
“Don't get carried away by this. ‘Oh, my God, this is such a great deal. I have to do this’. No. Think,” Li advised.