12 Scams of Christmas: Beware of social media ad scams

Posted at 7:59 AM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 10:59:19-05

(KERO) — The disappointment with what you receive is one thing but often consumers report having issues obtaining refunds or are concerned with how the company is now using their personal and payment information.

There are the usual suspects designer handbags at steep discounts.

A more unusual example, a shopper bought a wooden National Parks emblem thinking a portion of their purchase would be donated.

A piece of paper glued to styrofoam from China came instead. And sometimes it’s just laughable.

Queen Shaydonna Haynesworth, bought a rainbow Christmas tree from social media ad

"This is a rainbow Christmas tree? Yo this is the tree I ordered off the internet?" said Haynesworth.

The Instagram ad displaying a tree that fits in a living room not the palm of her hand.

The company’s page is in English but it’s contact page is a different language

"Make sure there’s a privacy policy, contact information, you can reach them and look and see what kind of words they use," said Angie Barnett, president and CEO with the Better Business Bureau.

Barnett said shoppers should check for spelling errors, unusual grammar, if they try to convince you the product is real or advertise unusually low prices

"Most often people fall for these social media sites because of pricing and photos. Don’t trust either, do your research."

But it can be more difficult when it’s an everyday item at a typical price like a consumer who bought two outdoor lawn chairs. Except she said the photo wasn’t to scale unless you are a hamster.

Barnett also recommends taking screenshots of the product details and how it’s advertised.

"I want to look at dimensions, fabric, very specific details so if what i receive doesn’t meet up with that, then i can dispute and most credit card companies will take it back."

A credit card will give you the best protection when shopping online.

Paypal also offers purchase protection ,however in some cases you’ll need to send the item back and shipping, particularly to a different country, will cost you way more than what you paid for the item.