With the holiday shopping season in full swing, BBB Scam Tracker has gotten dozens of reports of a crafty new online shopping con. This time, scammers claim a product you purchased is out of stock, but they never process your promised refund.
You see a product online that you want to purchase. (Many shoppers report encountering this scam through social media ads.) You click on the link to the company’s website, find the product, and check out. Shortly after your card is charged, you receive an email saying the product is out of stock and they will refund your money. You wait several days for the refund to post to your account, but it never does. Then, when you try to contact the online shop, no one responds.
One shopper told BBB Scam Tracker, “I placed an order and received a confirmation and was charged $15.98. A few days later, I received an email saying due to low stock I was being refunded. I never received a refund, so I emailed, but the email continuously failed to deliver. I have disputed the charge with my bank.”
The truth is the product never existed in the first place, and scammers hope you’ll never notice you didn’t get your refund. However, if you used a credit card, you should be able to contest the charge and get your money back.
Before shopping online, review the BBB Tip: Smart shopping online. See BBB’s holiday tips for more advice. If you spot a scam while shopping online, even if you don’t lose any money or information, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Your report can help other consumers to recognize the signs of a scam.
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