CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Last Christmas, the Better Business Bureau received more than twenty-three hundred scam complaints.
A total loss of 1.1 million dollars. This year, experts are worried consumers will be caught off guard and robbed of their holiday cheer.
"The majority of people are doing their shopping online and for us, online purchase scams are the most prevalent,” said BBB’s Katie Galan.
Adobe Analytics expects online sales to be up 2.5 percent now through Dec. 31.
Shoppers tell KZTV they prefer finding gifts online rather than dealing with long lines and higher prices.
"I think I'm looking more online for a lot of the things. I come to the store just to see how it fits and then I take pictures of what I like and then look online to see if I find a better deal because sometimes things are more expensive in store,” Juan Sanchez said.
As more people try to stay on a budget this holiday season there is danger in finding that perfect gift.
"What we want to be really careful with is when you are scrolling on social media you might see some ads pop up, you might see some email ads being sent to your email address, even text messages sent to your phone, and they all have links attached to them,” said Galan.
The BBB said misleading Facebook and Instagram ads are very common.
"We do see a lot of scammers who unfortunately are very sophisticated and impersonate these big box retailer websites,” explained Galan.
It doesn't stop there. Now scammers are using the online shopping surge to send notifications about shipping details to trick people into paying new shipping fees. Galan said people need to exercise caution.
"Start looking at the grammar, start looking at the print. You'll see if it's fake,” Galan advised.
The BBB asks shoppers to do their research.
If you're doing some online shopping, be sure the business you are buying from should be a working phone number and an actual physical address.
Be mindful of these scams that could cut into your holiday cheer and hereare some tips to avoid them.