Social Media Shopping Scams

An FTC Warning

The Federal Trade Commission takes pride in their mission to “champion the interests of American consumers.” While they track and monitor retailers, they also do the same with our spending habits. This leads to a comprehensive ability to identify trends or concerns. Recently, they’ve issued a warning regarding online shopping.

In the first six months of 2020, consumers have lost approximately $117 million in shopping scams. That’s already more than in all of 2019. Additionally, 1 in 4 of these victims reports the scam was from a social media ad with 94% identifying the origin of the ad from Facebook and Instagram.

So how do you keep yourself from becoming a victim? Previously we’ve mentioned using credit cards or private shopping services. These both allow you easier disputing avenues than your bank. (Plus, they’re another layer of defense against your bank information being stolen.)

Also, the FTC urges consumers to research before you click. If you’ve never heard of the company, do a quick web search. You can quickly find online if other people have had difficulties or complaints. Education is key!

If you do come across a scam, make sure to report it to the FTC. They’re working their hardest to shut down fraudulent retailers. If we all work together, we can do a better job collectively of keeping each other away from scams.

I hope you all get the best out of this holiday season, and, as always, stay safe out there.

Photo by Rami Al-zayat on Unsplash

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3 thoughts on “Social Media Shopping Scams”

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  2. Recently I got or saw, can’t remember which, an ad for a health claim supposedly endorsed by Peyton Manning. I decided to check it out since he seems like someone you can trust. I went to the website and discovered it was for CBD oil. I decided to try a sample bottle at a discounted rate. During the ordering process I had to agree to the terms of service. Based again on Peyton Manning’s good name I was tempted to click agree and not actually read the TOS. Instead I opened the TOS and was shocked by the language stating that by merely entering the website I agreed to certain things (I forget exactly what, but I’m sure I was to be auto shipped additional product at a high price). It warned me to exit the website immediately if I didn’t want bound in this way! This is the second time I’ve run across stealth agreements that obligate you to agree to things you would never agree to if you only knew about them.

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