CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The Better Business Bureau said there is a nationwide increase in scams this holiday season; many of which involve pyramid schemes.
People are being lured in by deals for puppies online and ways to get more gifts this year. The Better Business Bureau says these are popular national schemes set up to steal people’s money and expose their personal identity information.
“We are on course to receive about 4,000 complaints this year. The majority of them were filed since the pandemic,” President and CEO of BBB Chicago Steve Bernas said. “Basically, they are fraudulent companies or fraudulent breeders, or no breeders at all alleging that they have dogs for you that you need to send some money to them and that they will supply you the dog.”
Bernas said buyers must beware when coming across a deal online.
Here are some things to look out for:
Never give information to a stranger that asks for your personal information, pet names, or family members’ names.
Also, never trust someone who promises an excess amount of gifts or money after you purchase something.
So before you agree to any deal, experts say to check the source twice to make sure it’s the real deal or you might loose more than just funds.
“One is that you will lose money, that you will send your gift out to some people and you will not get anything back in return. But in today’s age which is more disconcerting to the Better Business Bureau is the possible loss of identity theft because you are giving information about yourself,” Bernas said.
And when it comes to getting a pet this year, Bernas recommends going in person to make the lifetime commitment for a forever friend.
If you’ve been the victim of a scheme, The Better Business Bureau says report it right away.
Here is a link to their online complaint system.