We are down to the holiday shopping wire as Christmas looms near. Parents are rushing to get their last-minute shopping done.
While it’s a hectic time for parents it is also the perfect time for scammers.
You might be one of the thousands of parents trying to get their hands on this year’s hottest toy, the Fingerling Monkey. Well, be careful.
The Better Business Bureau warns parents of scammers who are preying on parents who are trying to purchase the toy online.
Stores are sold out everywhere of the popular finger puppets so parents and grandparents are turning to the internet. That is where the con artists are waiting to sell counterfeits or worse, just take your money.
Many of the sites might seem legitimate, but most are not. Just last month, the BBB Scam Tracker received nearly 20 reports of Fingerling scams. Buyers reported being unable to contact the company by phone or email when their order never arrived.
The BBB also said other buyers reported being shipped counterfeit or incorrect product and were unable to get a refund. One victim reported receiving toys “but they are NOT Fingerlings. They are ‘Funny Monkeys.’ And although they look like Fingerlings, they don't do much of anything but make annoying sounds.”
So, if you want to avoid a holiday shopping scandal here are some tips to avoid the Fingerling Scam, according to the BBB:
- Only purchase from reputable retailers. Knowing the seller is the best way to avoid getting scammed. 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. Don’t 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.