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Profitt Report: Consumer Reports says beware of these holiday shopping scams

Photo credit: MGN

Planning to skip the malls and shop online holiday season? The explosion of e-commerce in the last ten years has also given rise to online shopping scams. Consumer Reports tells us what to look out for!

Consumer Reports says if you’ve never heard of the site, do some research before you buy. A good place to start is the Better Business Bureau where you can note any complaints. The Better Business Bureau also says use extreme caution when ordering from a company whose existence can’t be verified. Another good source of information: online user reviews. Type the name of the company and keywords ‘review’ and ‘complaint.’ This sports gear company for instance has several customers who claim they received knock-offs.

Also be careful when making purchases on Craigslist or other virtual bulletin boards. The key to trust here is buy local. Craigslist advises never sending money to someone you haven’t met. And arrange any meetings in a public place. For instance in some towns the police designate a safe zone for such transactions.

Another scam can come in an email purporting to be from a delivery service like Fedex or the US Postal Service. It states you have a package and asks for personal information to enable delivery. Don’t give it. Legitimate delivery companies do not ask for this type of information. USPS will usually attempt delivery in person.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.

The Profitt Report wants to hear from you - please send consumer questions and story ideas to ProfittReport@WSMH.com

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