Consumer Alert: Beware of back-to-school online shopping scams

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HONOLULU, Hawaii (KHON2) – The Federal Trade Commission says Americans have lost nearly $78 million due to COVID-19 fraud and online shopping is a top category.

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The Better Business Bureau says while you back-to-school shop online, look out for phishing scams on big ticket items like computers.

“You’re going to have it pop up, whether it’s your social media feeds, your cellphone as a text or emails,” said Roseann Frietas the Better Business Bureau Hawaii Marketplace Manager.

In some cases, you’ll cash in on a great deal and your order will never get delivered.

“A lot of the times, if you type in the company’s name and scam behind it, if there’s a lot of complaints on that, it’ll pop up. So you want to do your homework before you purchase from anyone you don’t know and make sure they’re a reputable business.”

The BBB says consumers are also losing thousands of dollars to fake online tutor ads.

“Especially if anyone is going to interact with your child online, you want to protect your child. So you really want to make sure you’ve done your homework on whatever company you go with and too make sure they’re reputable and make sure they are trustworthy.”

To avoid phishing scams, always keep your receipt, use your credit card and never click on suspicious links.

“You don’t want to download malware onto your system. Also, look at the company’s name and go directly to a browser and type in the company name yourself.”

Report a scam to the BBB Scam Tracker, click here for more information.

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