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Experts Share Last-Minute Online Holiday Shopping Tips for Kentucky Consumers Including Avoiding SCAMMERS

With just a few shopping days left until Christmas, many Kentuckians are utilizing online retailers to complete their gift checklists.

This year, online holiday shopping is expected to increase by 4.8% from 2022, and experts are urging consumers to take important precautions to protect themselves against scammers.

The Better Business Bureau, the nation’s largest consumer advocacy organization, recommends several proactive steps to take, including remembering:

  • Be sure to do your research before you buy
  • If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is
  • Beware of fake websites/social media accounts
  • Professional photos do not mean it’s a real offer
  • Use secure and traceable transactions/payment methods

“It’s so easy to have imposter websites,” said Robyn Householder, CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee & Southern Kentucky. “You think you’re shopping at Amazon or Walmart or Macy’s or whomever. Unfortunately, you never get that product because you weren’t on the legitimate site. This is one of those times we want you to really slow down.”

Officials from Facebook, social media’s most popular platform for digital shopping (accounting for more than 20 percent of all online purchases), also urge caution.

Lori Moylan, Public Policy Director for Meta/Facebook, offered the following tips for consumers to keep themselves and their financial information safe:

  • Read customer reviews or visit businesses’ Facebook pages to review (ideally many) comments
  • Be sure that an online business shares clear shipping information – to ensure timely delivery of purchased items
  • Avoid any online sites that require you to pay with gift cards; these are likely just individuals trying to steal your gift card information

Additional information on how to protect yourself this holiday season is available via the Better Business Bureau’s Shop Smart tips as well as Facebook’s Shopping Safety page.

If you do suspect a scam, officials encourage you to report it to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection tip line at 1-888-432-9257.

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