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BBB: Parents targeted by scammers over season's hot toy - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

BBB: Parents targeted by scammers over season's hot toy

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Fingerlings are among the hottest toys of the Christmas Season. Fingerlings are among the hottest toys of the Christmas Season.
CORPUS CHRISTI -

It may be the one thing parents dread most during the holidays: coming up short when looking for the must-have toy of the season.

This year, Fingerlings top the list. The cute, finger-puppet monkeys have already sold out at many stores, opening the door for con-artists to sell counterfeit versions, or worse - taking money for orders they never intend to fill.

This scam typically begins when adults search online for the item they are unable to find in the store. A website that looks legitimate features images of the toy and promotes a company that promises fast shipping. Then, once you've entered your credit card information, the con-game begins.  According to the Better Business Bureau, consumers report being unable to contact the company by phone or email when their order does not arrive. Others, who receive counterfeit toys, are told that getting a refund is impossible.

Those who want to avoid being taken for a ride should consider the following:

  • Only purchase from reputable retailers. Knowing the seller is the best way to avoid being cheated. It is best to buy products directly from the manufacturer or authorized resellers.
  • Beware of unreasonably low prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. An extra low price, especially when toys are sold out at many well-known retailers, should be a red flag. Low prices are often a sign of counterfeit products.
  • Be cautious with your personal information. Do not be quick to give out your name and credit card information to an unfamiliar company. First, call the provided customer service number to make sure it works and someone can answer your questions about products, payment and shipping.
  • Review BBB online shopping tips. Many online purchase scams use similar tactics. See BBB.org/shoppingonline for more advice.

To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker.

Got a question for the BBB? Contact Regional Director Kelly Trevino at ktrevino@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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