KSL INVESTIGATES

Influx of online scams targeting people who are already shopping for the holidays

Oct 20, 2021, 7:10 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Imagine ordering something online but never getting it. It is simply called the online shopping scam and it has been a thorn in the side of consumers and consumer watchdogs for years. But 2021 is primed to see this scam explode with more victims than ever as people desperately hunt for hard-to-find gifts for the upcoming holidays.

“We are hearing a lot about supply chain disruptions,” Ted Rossman of Bankrate recently told the KSL Investigators.

Rossman explained supply chain issues stemming from the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted everything from toilet paper to cars, will also impact toys, electronics, and other holiday wish list items.

So, the advice is to shop early, which Bankrate found most folks are through its survey.

“Half of holiday shoppers are starting before Halloween,” Rossman said.

The early start to this holiday season shopping has consumer watchdogs nervous, especially with so much shopping being done online.

“The pressure is starting to intensify, which means that the scams are going to start intensifying as well,” said Britta Clark of the Better Business Bureau of Utah.

Clark said the BBB always sees a spike in online shopping scams around the holidays. With more folks shopping early, she fears more victims are likely to be ensnared.

“They order something off of that website from that company and then they never receive it,” she said.

According to data gathered by the BBB and shared with the KSL Investigators, online purchase scams have just moved up the list and are now the “#1 riskiest” to consumers. They make up more than a third of all scams reported to the BBB, and four out of five victims lose money.

As supply chain issues make some holiday wants hard to find, shoppers may be especially susceptible to quickly click “buy now while supplies last” and Clark said that is the last thing online shoppers should do.

“Take your time, research what you’re about to buy,” she urged.

According to the BBB data, so far in 2021, people who bought something and didn’t get it lose an average of $102.

If you do shop online, remember this: you only get a short window to dispute a credit card charge – 90 days typically. If a seller tells you that it needs more time to get your order to you because of supply chain issues, that could be a ruse. They could be running out the clock on that dispute window, making it impossible for you to get help from your credit card company if your order never shows up.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

UDOT says it spend over $1.5 million on fixing potholes in the last fiscal year, FY 2022....
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Submitting a claim to the government for pothole damage? Good luck with that

A pothole can do serious and expensive damage to your car. But as Get Gephardt found, if you hit a bad spot on a Utah road, don’t expect the city or state to rush to pay for your repairs.
1 day ago
...
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair

Get Gephardt: No, really, why are Utah gas prices still higher than the national average?

Why are gas prices in Utah so much higher than other parts of the country?
5 days ago
...
Daniella Rivera

Tracking Transparency: Why prison surveillance videos are rarely released to the public

Since this investigation aired last night, we've heard from some of you wondering why the state is withholding these videos from the public. Here's some of the transparency issues.
5 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps Farmington traveler get reimbursed after getting bumped from her flight

A woman paid Delta Airlines $617 to upgrade her seat. But when she arrived at the airport, she found she had no seat at all.
6 days ago
...
Daniella Rivera

‘They’re all in imminent danger’: Video shows violence after Utah prison allowed gangs to mingle

Corrections officials say they're doing all they can to keep the people in their custody safe, and policies at the new prison will help. Families of those on the inside say it's not enough.
6 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Get Gephardt: Surgeon no-shows for pre-paid procedure

Imagine paying for surgery, only to have the surgeon no-show. It happened to a Herriman woman, and when she couldn't get her money back, she decided it was time to Get Gephardt.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Influx of online scams targeting people who are already shopping for the holidays