The holidays are prime time for scammers who try to fleece you.
Michelle Reinen of the state Division of Consumer Protection says from Black Friday to Christmas finds shoppers of all kinds buying with vigor on-line. At the same time, scammers are very skilled at making you give up your personal information. She says often there's a fake website with things that are too cheap to be true...
"...We see these discounts, these deep, deep discounts for high demand electronics, really trendy fashion items, and expensive jewelry, and usually it's again to these fake websites or really a knockoff-type item. It's not what consumers expect when they're shopping there..."
Reinen says the scammers use a variety of social media to trick shoppers. She says before ordering, do some research. She says check for complaints, validate a true company name, a physical location and contact information.
She says one tip is to take whatever information they give you and Google it along with the word "complaint" and she says often you will find out the true nature of the website.
She says you can check with Consumer Protection and the Better Business Bureau for complaints.
She also says shipping scams include someone contacting you to about a package but first you need to give them some personal information. Real shippers won't contact you about your personal information and the company where you bought it will.
More information is available through the Division of Consumer Protection at the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.