Be on the lookout for online shopping scams

Be on the lookout for online shopping scams - News 4 Evening Break at 6:30pm

SAN ANTONIO -- For the first time ever, more consumers will be shopping online than in stores this holiday season and scammers are taking advantage.

One benefit to shopping in stores is that you know what you see is what you get. But that's not always the case in the digital domain. According to the Better Business Bureau, online shopping scams peak in December.

"The average loss is $101,” said Katherine Hutt of the Better Business Bureau. “And the most susceptible to this kind of scam are young women."

Especially on hard to find items like fingerlings monkeys.

"Scammers will always take advantage of scarcity,” Hutt told us.

The maker of the popular toys “Wow-Wee” is filing a lawsuit against 165 companies for selling counterfeit fingerlings.

Consumers are complaining on social media about getting duped by fake websites or overseas sellers ...

"Scammers will make a site that mimics a well-known brand and try to fool shoppers into buying substandard good or stealing money altogether," explained Hutt.

Make sure you're not on a fake site by checking the URL. There should be a lock symbol and an "s" after "http," so you know it's secure. If a seller asks you to pay with a gift card or wire transfer, that's a big red flag.

Use a credit card for the most protection and never click on links sent through unsolicited messages on social media, email or text.

"You may miss out on a sale or two,” said Hutt. “But more likely to miss out of getting ripped off."

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