BBB warns of online shopping scams

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So often, ads pop up on social media based on your search history or interests, but those ads can cost you thousands of dollars if you’re not careful.

“During the pandemic, when everyone was really forced to do other grocery shopping. Everything that they were their entertainment, everything was being done online,” said Brian Baca, the CEO of the Better Business Bureau of New Mexico.

For the third straight year, online purchase scams affect the most people in the U.S. and New Mexico. According to the BBB, 30% of all scams are online purchases.

This year already, 89 New Mexicans fell victim to scammers.

This is unusual because they usually pick up around the holidays. Now, scammers can target you through what you search.

“A quarter of the scams are from social media from Facebook,” Baca said.

Collete Smith, from Albuquerque, lost a total of $25,000 after she tried to use an online service to market and publish a book.

Pennye Parker, from Sierra County, tried posting an ad through an online platform. She paid more than $18,000 but never heard from them again.

However, there are ways you can protect yourself.

“Always pay by credit card. That’s going to be the safest way to even have a chance of getting your money back,” Baca said.

Also, make sure the website’s URL always begins with “https” so that you know the site is secure.

Typos and misspellings are also another sign that a deal could be disastrous.

“It’s just shocking how easy, these websites look so professional and they just aren’t,” Baca said.