Since so many of us are shopping online these days to avoid the crowds, here's a warning about where you shop. The Federal Trade Commission says the number of people who lost money to scams that started on social media has more than tripled in the last year. E-commerce sites that don’t deliver the goods top those social media scams.
Here are four tips to avoid being left empty-handed:
- Before you buy, check out the company. Type the name in a search engine with words like “scam” or “complaint.”
- Watch out for prices that are too good to be true, especially for hot selling items you know aren’t that cheap.
- Check out what other people are saying. Look at the comments under the ad, but keep in mind that the scammers can easily delete negative comments, so don’t rely on this alone.
- Pay with a credit card, because if the item doesn’t arrive, you’re protected.
If you place an order from a social media ad and later believe it was a scam, be sure to request a new credit card number from your bank.