BBB warns consumers of online shopping scams

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Online shopping has opened up a world of possibilities to find even the most unique items from all around the globe. But, the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about making online purchases.
Unfortunately, scammers use legitimate looking photos and contact information to trick shoppers into thinking they are the real deal.
A Stevensville, Michigan woman recently found herself in a strange position when she received a call from a woman looking for shipping information from an online purchase. The BBB investigation found the woman’s phone number was listed as the contact for online store called “Invention Top,” which sells antiques, coins and collectibles, but the woman told the BBB she’s not affiliated in any way with the business.
The BBB recommends you do your homework before giving out sensitive information like credit card numbers for payment.
  • Research the company: It is best to stick to websites you know and trust. Look up the company on and to see what other consumer experiences have been. A generic internet search can provide other details related to identifying the website as legitimate or a scam.
  • Double check contact information: Perform an internet search of the address listed to see if the location exists or makes sense for that business. Look for other contact information like a phone number or email address that matches the company. If there is little to no contact information listed, that is a red flag of a scam. Use caution if the site uses a Gmail or Yahoo business email address.
  • Pay with a credit card: Credit cards often provide more protection against fraud than other payment methods.
If you find your information listed on a website:
  • Report the website to the domain hosting service: You can find this information by entering the website address into WHOIS Or ICANN. You can request the website be shut down or remove your information through a cease and desist letter.
  • Report the page to Google: You can report the website to Google’s Safe Browsing team, which works to eliminate phishing pages designed to look like another page or attempt to steal users personal information.
  • Change your phone number: Unfortunately, sometimes the most effective (yet less convenient) way is to change your phone number with your service provider.
  • Update your voicemail message: If you do not want to change your number, you can change your voicemail message to indicate you are not associated with any online shopping companies. This will not eliminate calls, but may reduce repeat callers looking for information from your number. Do not answer unknown numbers.
  • Report the website to the Better Business Bureau: Report the website to


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