Consumer Alert: Dozens of Hawaii residents victims of online purchase scams, what you can do to protect yourself

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Online shopping continues to be a popular option for people this year, but the Better Business Bureau warns that scammers are using the name of popular retail companies to steal local resident’s money and information.

he Better Business Bureau says be careful of the links in text or e-mail messages from popular retailers because they could end up being fake.

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“How they do it is they will do a lot of coupons, and it appeals to us, right? It’s an amazing deal and we click on that link, we get directed to what looks like that business’s website, we place our order, and then nothing happens, and that person has just been scammed,” said Roseann Freitas with the Better Business Bureau.

According to the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker, more than two dozen Hawaii residents have fallen victim to online purchase scams since the start of 2021.

Freitas said to avoid this, don’t click on the link provided in the text or e-mail, but instead go to a browser and type in the company’s website instead.

There are some red flags to watch out for, like if a coupon doesn’t have an expiration date or if the website doesn’t have a secure symbol.

She said also be wary of deals on certain items like Clorox wipes, T.V.s, computers and furniture.

“I know we all love a bargain. But right now, we’ve got supply chain issues. And so it’s hard to get some products, a company isn’t going to discount anything that’s hard to get right now,” said Freitas.

Scammers aren’t just out to steal money, but information as well through things like fake surveys, fake giveaways and fake delivery alerts.

“Go back to your account with those companies that’s really the best way to do it, try not to interact with them via text message or necessarily an email,” said Freitas.