Many Iowans skip the malls and embrace holiday shopping with -no- lines by shopping on-line. Still, the season of giving can also be the season for taking. Scott Mecham, spokesman for the Better Business Bureau, says scammers are busy coming up with new ways to separate you from your money.
The schemes range from work-at-home deals, lottery scams, sweepstakes and home loans, anything to tempt consumers into thinking they’re getting something for nothing. Mecham says consumers nationwide are expected to spend nearly 19-billion dollars shopping on the Internet between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, a 25-percent boost from last year.
Mecham has some advice for Iowans.Only shop with a merchant you know and trust because it’s easy for anyone to look good on the Internet. He suggests calling your nearest chapter of the B-B-B to see if anyone else has had a problem with the merchant you’re considering using. We learned this week of a new term — “Cyber-Monday,” the discovery that Americans working at computers place the most orders over the internet on Mondays, from their workplace terminal. There’s’s a lot of fraud on-line and he says nobody checks before you post that order.
He warns “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Mecham says it’s estimated two-and-a-half million households in this country will buy merchandise on-line for the first time this holiday season.