The Better Business Bureau is warning Miami Valley residents to watch out for internet scammers who set up online stores that do not deliver the products consumers paid for.
Those scams are on the rise.
“They are peddling everything from clothing, health and beauty, home décor, kitchen/storage and cleaning products,” according to a news release issued this week by the BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley.
During the first six months of this year there were 213 complaints about retail and online shopping filed with the local BBB. That is a 70 percent increase over the same period last year.
Complaints to the BBB Scam Tracker are up 210 percent in the first six months of 2020, compared to the same period last year, when there were 10 reports. This year there were 31 reports during the first six months.
The Scam Tracker online tool is for consumers and businesses to report scams or search an online “heat map” showing the number and types of scams and hoaxes reported in their communities.
Shopping scams typically involve up-front charges using the consumer’s debit or credit card but the products that are ordered are never delivered and the consumer is unable to get a response from the scammer.
Two recent complaints handled by the BBB involved a company called Onvims and Orksou that claimed to be in Springfield and another call Luvrosy.com that used a Moraine address. Neither store was registered with the Ohio Secretary of State. The companies could not be reached for comment.
The BBB found that the registrant of the IP address of the company was supposed to be in Springfield was actually in California. The site then went inactive and popped up again under a new name, this time with the registrant located in Florida but claiming to be in Springfield. The resident of the Springfield address said she had never heard of the businesses and they do not operate out of her home, according to the BBB.
The 12 complaints alleged the online store never delivered the products they ordered.
The BBB had 27 complaints about Luvrosy.com, an online women’s clothing store that used a Moraine address that the BBB found belonged to another unaffiliated company. Luvrosy.com is actually located in China, according to the BBB, which handled complaints alleging the company did not deliver items or, if items were delivered, they were not what was ordered or were shoddy.
The BBB offered several tips to avoid online scammers:
- Research in advance, read reviews and verify a company’s location and contact information.
- Use secure websites. Look for https:// in the URL for secure transmission of personal information, as well as a locked padlock on the purchase or shopping cart page.
- Install a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer and keep it up to date.
- Beware of “rock-bottom prices” and compare prices and merchandise on similar websites.
- Keep documentation of your order, including receipts and confirmation pages or emails.
- Consider only using retailers you trust and have shopped with before.
The bureau offers lists of accredited businesses, profiles on companies and customer reviews at www.BBB.org or by calling (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.
Follow Lynn Hulsey on Twitter and Facebook at @LynnHulseyDDN