Community and Youth

Online sellers dupe sports fans with phony jerseys

A jersey from a fan’s favorite team is a popular gift, but beware of online stores that offer “official” merchandise at unbelievably low prices. Scam websites are conning people out of their money, according to BBB Scam Tracker reports from consumers.

You’re looking for a jersey online, and you come across a site that promises great deals and fast shipping. You may have clicked on a social media ad or done a web search.

The store is not one you have heard of before. But with great photos and cheap prices, you decide to take a chance. After placing your order, your account is charged, and you receive confirmation emails. Everything seems normal until weeks pass and the jersey never arrives.

Unfortunately contacting the company usually does not help. One victim reported to BBB Scam Tracker, “I bought two NFL jerseys for my husband and son and have yet to receive them. I went to the email that was sent and tried to get in contact with customer service. There was no number to call, and the website had been deactivated.”

A few victims received email responses in poor English offering various reasons why their purchase still hadn’t shipped. In most cases they never do.

Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. If the price of an item is significantly less than what it is on other well-known retailers’ sites, this is a red flag that indicates a possible scam.

Research the company before you purchase. If you want to make a purchase from a company you haven’t heard of before, check www.bbb.org to see if they have a BBB business profile. Check BBB Scam Tracker at www.bbb.org/scamtracker to see if anyone else has reported them as a scam. Look for contact information on their website and a robust social media presence to help determine if they are legitimate.

Never wire money or use a prepaid debit card as payment. Both payment types are often requested by scammers, and once you’ve paid, there is no way to get your money back. Instead, make online purchases with your credit card and only on secure (https) websites.

Read more about online purchase scams on www.BBB.org to protect yourself from fake online products and sellers.

Visit www.bbb.org/canton or call 330-454-9401 to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam with Scam Tracker, read tips, follow on social media and more.
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