Avoid online, school shopping scams with BBB tips

The Better Business Bureau wants to ward families away from potential scams when buying technology and supplies for the 2022-2023 school year.
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 3:50 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Better Business Bureau wants to ward families away from potential scams when buying technology and supplies for the 2022-2023 school year.

The BBB claims that education has forever changed since the COVID pandemic, when students had to learn at home through technology, which, according to the BBB, set a new precedent for education.

Research from the market research firm Deloitte demonstrates the demand for technology has increased incredibly since then, especially online, in its 2022 back-to-school survey. It states that “the use of smartphones for shopping is on the rise, with 65% in 2022 versus 58% in 2021.”

However, this year the chip shortage is another obstacle families face as the supply struggles to keep up with the demand.

Previous Coverage of the U.S. Chip Shortage
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A bill designed to encourage more semiconductor companies to build chip plants in the United States passed the Senate on Wednesday as lawmakers raced to finish work on a key priority of the Biden administration.

Coupled with the demand and the ongoing chip shortage, scammers have a chance to make phony and enticing ads on fake websites that would trick consumers to share personal credit card information.

Tips suggested by the BBB include:

  • Shop with familiar retailers
  • Do not buy from imposters – Fraudsters may use the name, logo, and other characteristics of trusted brands. Look at the website closely to ensure you are with a trusted brand
  • Be cautious when you see low prices
  • Some brands or companies rarely offer sales – If a company rarely offers discounts or sales, research the company first. The products might be refurbished, used, or on a fake website
  • Know what you are shopping for - Set a budget, list what you need, and compare your options. Then you can shop around for a seller you trust.
  • Know who the seller is – Some sellers allow third party sellers to list items on the website, which can be difficult to distinguish from the other items.
  • Read the fine print
  • Finish your shopping early

If you do get scammed, don’t remain silent.

That doesn’t help any of your fellow community members, that doesn’t help other families in the district, that doesn’t help anyone at all other than the scammer. Staying quite only help the perpetrator and that’s precisely what they’re looking for, right, they want victims to shell up and not to speak to their experience, because they want them to be afraid and they want to continue scamming others, so it’s very important that you speak up and you speak loudly”.

VP of Communications and PR, Josh Planos says parents shouldn’t be afraid to ask for discounts with prices like that. “,There are are a lot of discounts out their for parents, for families that you can take advantage of if you are willing to speak up and ask if they are available, because most of these discounts are not widely advertised but they are available and the only way you’re going to know is if you ask”.

Patterson Legal Group will be handing out backpacks with school supplies Saturday at the Stormont Vail Events center parking lot from 8:00-9:00 a.m.

To learn more tips to avoid potential frauds, just go to the BBB’s school shopping tips page.

If you need to report a scam, click here.

We have more information posted on our website at wibw dot com..

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