It’s the biggest sale of the year, so it should come as no surprise that Black Friday is often targeted by scammers.
Now, experts from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) have warned consumers about an Instagram scam that is circulating this Black Friday.
The scam involves Instagram posts that claim to sell hard-to-find or custom trainers, which appear to be from legitimate sellers.
To buy the shoes, you need to send a direct message to the seller, and after some back and forth communication, you’ll be asked to make a payment using an online payment platform, such as Venmo.
However, once this payment is made, the trainers never arrive. When you contact the seller, they may promise you a refund – but like the trainers, this never materialises.
Speaking to BBB, one consumer said: “The merchant blocked me on social media where I originally contacted him and he also blocked my number, making me unable to call him or any [of his] associates.”
And with Black Friday now here, the scam artists are preying on consumers looking for a bargain.
Karla Davis, Manager for Community and Public Relations at BBB, said: “No matter how attractive the photographs are, or how convincing the testimonial videos seem to be, consumers need to be extremely cautious when shopping on social media platforms.
“Fraudsters are using social media posts or sponsored ads to lure consumers to fake retailer websites that collect credit card information or trick them into spending money for items that they are likely to never receive”.
To help you avoid being scammed this Black Friday, BBB has revealed three top tips:
Research the seller – read the comments and reviews of other consumers on the seller’s social media accounts and website
Use a safe payment method – avoid using apps like Venmo, Facebook Pay and CashApp
Do not be pressured to make a quick purchase – Never purchase under pressure. Do your research first, then buy.
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