BBB Scam Alert: Watch out for social media advent calendar scams

Published 2:46 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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From the Better Business Bureau:

BBB Scam Tracker is getting reports of a seasonal spin on social media ad scams. This time, scammers are targeting holiday shoppers with themed advent calendars.

How the scam works

As you scroll through your social media feed, you come across a themed advent calendar that looks fun and unique. Judging by the comments on the post, many people have already purchased the item and love it. The post links you to a website where you can make your purchase. Everything looks normal and the price is reasonable, so you place an order. Your credit card is charged, but as the days turn into weeks, you start wondering if you’ll ever receive the calendar.

In most cases, your calendar never arrives because it never existed.

If you’re among the “lucky” few who do receive a product from a scam site, it could be a far cry from what you saw online.

How to avoid social media ad scams

● Research before you buy. Buying something on social media on a whim can be tempting, especially if it isn’t too expensive, but resist the urge. Search for the business before you click “buy” to make sure they have a legitimate website and contact information. Even if the website has professional-looking photos and good customer reviews, it could still be a fake.

● Don’t fall for deals that are too good to be true. If an ad promises an intricate advent calendar containing valuable gifts for an extremely low price, it probably is too good to be true.

● Search for consumer complaints. Do an online search of the product and business names along with the words “complaints,” “scams,” or “reviews” and see what you come up with. If you find reports of others who were scammed or didn’t receive what they were promised, steer clear.