March 29, 2024

This holiday shopping season, BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous reports about shipping tricks that scammers use to steal from online shoppers. The con artists are exploiting PayPal’s polices by delivering incorrect items and using stolen tracking numbers.

How the Scam Works:
People are shopping online and are finding amazing deals, often brand name goods at a significant discount. Often, the items are large – such as pieces of furniture or a vaccum cleaner. The website and the products look legitimate, so consumers are deciding to take a chance and make a purchase. The site directs them to pay through PayPal, which leads many to believe it’s safe.

After checkout, a confirmation email arrives that contains a tracking number from UPS, FedEx, or another shipping service. After a few weeks, the package arrives, but it’s not what was expected. For example, one shopper ordered a 6 foot artificial Christmas tree, but “received a bottle brush Christmas tree no bigger than my hand.” Another shopper told BBB that they ordered “a pressured machine washer for…

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