BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — While trying to complete your Christmas gift list, keep in mind that scammers want to take advantage.

According to the Better Business Bureau, online purchases are the number one riskiest scam. In 2021, nearly 75% of those targeted by online purchase scams reported losing money.

“You need to investigate these companies before you press purchase,” said Carmen Million, president, and CEO of the south-central Louisiana Better Business Bureau.

Carmen Million with the BBB says scams on the social media app, TikTok, are growing.

“You know how you are on TikTok and you go from one video to another, there’s going to be a commercial or an ad that is promoting a particular product. That’s great because they are allowing you to shop on TikTok. Again, don’t make an impulsive purchase,” she said.

According to a report from the BBB, in 2021, nearly 35% of online purchase scam reports were pet-related, with a median dollar loss of $750. The most commented counterfeit item is shoes, apparel, and digital devices.

The BBB provides the following tips:

  • Research online using a secure Wi-Fi connection to see if competitors have the item at a better price
  • Be aware of deals that might look too good to be true.
  • Shop with a credit card because it provides additional protections than a debit card
  • Read product reviews
  • Make sure the website is protected by a proper lock key

“You just need to make sure you look into these things and do your homework before making a purchase,” said Million.

Online scams can be reported to the BBB here.