The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is providing tips to help Vancouver Island residents avoid scams this Christmas.
The BBB Scam Tracker receives daily reports of people purchasing items that they never receive, getting charged for a free trial they never signed up for, or receiving an item that is counterfeit or different from what was advertised.
The BBB recommends that shoppers always research before making a purchase.
“We highly suggest taking an extra second to research the company you’re buying from,” said Simone Lis, president and CEO of BBB of Mainland British Columbia. “Talk about your purchases with someone you trust. Is that genuinely a good deal or is it too good to be true? Don’t let a Grinch steal your holiday spirit or your hard-earned money. With inflation still rampant, it seems as though holiday budgets have to be bigger than ever this year.”
There are also a high number of job offer scams during this time of year.
Out of all these types of scams reported to the tracker, 65 per cent have been related to becoming a warehouse redistribution coordinator or some similar titles involving the reshipment of packages.
The Better Business Bureau says these packages often contain stolen goods.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has logged 247 reports of pet scams in 2022 with a total loss of approximately $217,453.
The average loss has been $850 this year and has gone up by 60 per cent since 2017.
The BBB suggests seeing pets in person before sending money for one.
A Vancouver man reported to the scam tracker that he lost $640 after sending an e-transfer to an unknown seller in Victoria for a Playstation 5.
Once the transfer was finished, the seller stopped replying to messages, and their phone number was disconnected.
The Better Business Bureau recommends avoiding buying items from retailers you don’t know.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.