(Rutherford County, TN) Christmas is only days away, but the holiday spirit has yet to hit criminals. James Price of the Better Business Bureau highlighted how the internet is one of many places to exercise caution when making gift purchases… A Murfreesboro woman told WGNS on Thursday she purchased LuLu Lemon pants online after clicking an ad on Facebook. The price she paid was an even $80, which at the time was a bargain. The woman later reached out to the company to find out when the pants would arrive and quickly realized the company wasn’t an authorized LuLu Lemon retailer and her pants have yet to arrive. In fact, WGNS found that the company was a hoax and has conned others out of money as well.
Ornaments and lights adorn windows and lawns throughout Rutherford County, but the delightful mood is not felt by scam artist posing as neighbors wanting to have a gift exchange… Price reminds listeners to research before participating in any online gift exchanges by visiting the BBB Scam Tracker (Click Here to visit the Scam Tracker).
Also in our scam worthy news files, PUPPIES! Puppy scams remain consistently profitable for scammers during the holiday season. If a furry friend is added to your last-minute Christmas list, Better Business Bureau encourages you to be vigilant when making quick decisions.
"Many individuals are planning to surprise loved ones with a pet for Christmas, but this plan may not work if they are not careful," said Robyn Householder, president & CEO of Better Business Bureau Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. "Puppy scams continue to be one of the top scams American families face."
Pet scams historically make up a quarter of all online shopping frauds reported to BBB and are on track to be about 18% this year.
Puppy scammers lure people in with fake websites and promises of cute puppies. Yorkies, Dachshunds, and French Bulldogs make up nearly 30% of all puppy scams, according to 2022 BBB Scam Tracker reports. Consumers also mentioned additional breeds on Scam Tracker, which means buyers should be cautious when shopping for any breed online.
Purchasing a pet can be an emotionally charged experience, so BBB is providing four tips to consumers. First, visit and inspect the pet by arranging to meet with the prospective seller in person. Most legitimate breeders welcome the visit. Secondly, never send money via wire transfer to people or companies you don't know and trust. Thirdly, visit BBB.org and find out if there is a listing of the business or the breeder on the website. Finally, shop locally. Consider visiting the local animal shelter. Many shelters are looking for fosters to help relieve animal stress and reduce overcrowding at their facilities.
Always report suspected fraud to the BBB by filing a complaint using BBB.org/Scamtracker. Also, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at reportfraud.ftc.gov or call 877-FTC-Help. Contact your card issuer even if the transaction was not completed. Monitor your statements and if you suspect fraud, ask for a refund.
Also, visit https://petscams.com/report-pet-scam-websites/. The website tracks complaints, catalogs puppy scammers, and endeavors to get fraudulent pet sales websites taken down.
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