(WHTM) — As you rush to buy those hot toys and gadgets in the next few weeks, beware!
Scammers are lurking everywhere, as one Hebron, Kentucky woman just learned, after paying $500 for an Xbox that never showed up.
Linda Ross wanted to buy the Xbox for her teen son. It was sold out everywhere, except for one spot.
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“I found a site, ‘Gaming Spot and Electronic’, and they said they had one in stock for the $500 that everyone was asking,” Ross said.
It sounded like Gamestop. The only problem, the site’s support team wouldn’t take credit cards or PayPal.
“He said we had to pay by this cash app, called Zelle” she added
So Linda paid $500 cash, only to get a text saying something else.
‘He told me I had to send an additional $500 to have it released for insurance reasons” Ross said.
Furious, she requested a refund. But, she didn’t get any response. This is more and more common during the holiday season, with shoppers desperate to find sold-out items.
But take a closer look at the “Gaming Spots” website. At one point, the company is “Electronic”, at another, it is “electronics.”
They even misspelled “Gaminng” with two N’s. While they claim to be in Los Angeles, their phone number goes to “call rejected.” The site did also not reply to our email either
So how can you protect yourself?
Sara Remember of the Better Business Bureau says, in this case, a search would have found many complaints of no product delivered.
“We always recommend to Google the business along with the words ‘complaint’, ‘scam’, just to learn other consumer’s experiences” Remember said.
Most important, she says never pay a known website with the equivalent of cash.
“We do not recommend paying with a debit card, or a digital wallet like Venmo” Remember added.
So check those web sellers carefully. At the Better Business Bureau website, and a general Google search. So, don’t waste your money.