Columbus, OH — BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous complaints from shoppers fooled by too-good-to-be-true social media ads. Just because a company advertises on Facebook, Instagram, or another social platform does not mean it is trustworthy. Be sure to do your research before making a purchase.
How the Scam Works:
You are scrolling through social media and see an ad in your feed. Advertisements for clothes, make-up, beauty products, toys, and even puppies are all very common. The ads hook you by offering a great deal, or, in the case of a beauty or health product, by claiming to produce amazing results. They may also promote the season’s “must have” toy or gadget that’s difficult to find in stores.
If you click on the ad, be sure to evaluate the website (and the business behind it) before making a purchase. BBB Scam Tracker has received reports from customers who were overcharged, never received their orders, or ended up with faulty (or entirely different!) products.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, reviews its ads for content, but does not evaluate the businesses behind those ads. Be sure to check for a secure site (look for HTTPS in the domain) and working contact information. BBB also advices consumers to search for the business at bbb.org.
Protect Yourself from an Online Shopping Scam
Before buying online, confirm the site has real contact information. Make sure the seller has a working phone number and address on the website, so you can contact them in case of problems.
If the price seems too good to be true, there’s probably something wrong. Be wary if the item is selling for significantly lower than what you’ve seen elsewhere.
Review BBB online shopping tips. Many online purchase scams use similar tactics. See bbb.org/shoppingonline for more advice.
To Learn More
To learn more about Facebook advertising, check out their ad review policy.
To learn more about scams, go to BBB Scam Tips (BBB.org/scamtips). To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/scamtracker).
NOTE: Facebook is a BBB Accredited Businesses.
For more information, follow your BBB on Facebook, Twitter, and at bbb.org.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Ohio, which was founded in 1921 and serves 21 counties in Central Ohio.