Beware of holiday decorating scams

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published by twalro @ presspub … on Sun 07/11/2021 – 12:46 p.m.

Through:

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention Officer / Community Police Officer

One of the more recent scams in the region is where people order Christmas decorations from various websites and / or social media platforms and find out that it is an outright scam, or that they are getting substandard goods.
Some people don’t get anything after spending their money ordering decorations, and others only open packages to find flimsy decorations that don’t hold up. When they try to contact the company they purchased the merchandise from, they find out that the business no longer exists, or are told that they cannot return the merchandise.
There are even cases where the buyer finds out after the fact that their credit card information was used to empty their accounts.
You may have heard the expression “caveat emptor” which means “let the buyer beware”. There are no truer words to match the description in such cases.
As with all transactions on the Internet, people should know and verify the merchants they buy from before entering order information, and especially before entering their credit card or banking information.
We always recommend that you buy from a local company. Not only is it a more reliable way to do business, but it also helps the local people who own these businesses. It has been shown time and time again that when you do business with a local retailer, that money changes hands multiple times locally. This means that many local businesses and people benefit greatly from a trickle down effect.
If you have an issue with merchandise purchased locally, you are less likely to have issues obtaining replacement merchandise or getting a refund.
Another consideration: When you buy products from an online business, that money doesn’t help put food on the tables of so many locals.
It should also be noted that there are many scam businesses that pose as legitimate online. This can be done by copying the logos of a legitimate business from the scam website. The things to look for on these websites are poor language and grammar. This is one of the first signs of fraud, and it’s usually obvious.
This is also the time of year when charity gadget scams are most prevalent. People are in a generous mood, which prepares victims for these scams.
We recommend that anyone wishing to donate to charity to a group do their homework to make sure the charity is legitimate. It is always a good idea to check with the local Better Business Bureau before making a donation. We also encourage everyone to donate by mailing a check, not over the Internet. Before making a donation, also check who will benefit from your donation.
This item is a public service of the Community Policing / Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents can obtain more information on topics related to crime prevention and public safety by contacting Ron Craig, Crime Prevention Specialist / Community Policing Officer, at 419-481-6354.




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