BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Virtual event goers should be on the lookout for scammers creating phony online events that ask people to pay before accessing a virtual holiday market or craft fair, the Better Business Bureau warns.
These events may be copycat events of real events or events that have historically been held in-person prior to the coronavirus pandemic. If a virtual holiday or shopping event requires someone to purchase a ticket to gain access to it, it may be a scam, according to BBB CEO and President Carmen Million.
Shoppers should also beware when online shopping, as people can list products on a website that, when clicked by a browsing shopper, install malware on the user’s computer.
The BBB offered five tips shoppers and online event goers can use this holiday season to avoid falling victim to scams:
- Is there an admission fee? Visit the event’s website to see if you need to purchase an admission ticket for the virtual event. If not, watch for scammers trying to claim otherwise. If this happens, message the event coordinator to help prevent other virtual attendees from being scammed.
- Research vendors and the host. If the event is unfamiliar to you, research the host and list of vendors ahead of time. While virtually browsing from booth to booth, make sure you are only clicking on the links provided. If you are unsure if a shop is legitimate do an online search for that vendor’s store rather than follow the link provided.
- Use a credit card. When making any purchases, use your credit card. This way if anything gets charged that wasn’t supposed to be, you can file a claim with your credit card company.
- Keep your receipts. Make note of all of your purchases and save your receipts. If you have a question about a product or need to make a return, you will have the vendor’s information readily available.
- Know the return policy. Before making a purchase, ask the vendor what their return policy is so you will not run into issues after the holidays.