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Looking for this season's hot toy? BBB warns of scams

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ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Every holiday season, there's always a few "must-have" toys on most child' wish list. The toy sells out fast, becomes expensive, and hard to find leaving many parents, grandparents and other well-intentioned gift givers at a loss. This year's hot picks are Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition (aka Baby Yoda) and a realistic toy dog. Scammers are using the toy's popularity to trick shoppers out of their money.   

How the Scam Works
A socially distant search in person at the major retailers reveals these high demand toys are sold out at every store visited. The decision to try online is made. A quick search pops up a page that miraculously has the toy in stock. The site may look professional and have original images of the product. It may even offer the product at discounted prices, claiming a "last-minute deal" or "flash sale."

Unfortunately, many such offers are fake. In many cases reported to BBB.org/ScamTracker, buyers thought they were ordering a high-quality, animatronic toy. Instead, they received a cheap counterfeit version. When the dissatisfied customers tried to follow up with the company, they found that the staff either did not respond or refused to provide a refund. 

For example, one shopper told BBB.org/ScamTracker that she thought she ordered a high-quality, animatronic puppy. "It was supposed to move and act like a real little dog. I wanted to get it for one of my great granddaughters. When I received the dog in the mail it was a small stuffed animal that you could get out of a machine at an arcade."

Another consumer reported paying $59.99 for a Baby Yoda toy that fell far short of their expectations. "It was supposed to be animated and make sound... When I finally got it, it is an ugly plastic hand puppet. I contacted them for a refund and an address to send it back. They say I must pay for shipping, and it will be $20.00. And they will give me a 10% refund."

Tips to Avoid Toy Scams

  • Only buy toys from reputable stores and websites. The best way to avoid getting scammed when purchasing toys is to buy them directly from a known, trusted seller.
  • Don't be fooled by extra-low prices. Unreasonably low prices are a red flag for a scam on many products. Avoid making a purchase from a unknown retailer just because the price sounds too good to be true – it probably is!

  • Research before you buy. If a company seems legitimate but are not familiar with it, be extra careful with financial and personal information. Before offering up name, address, and credit card information, make sure the company has a working customer service number and see if they have a brick-and-mortar address.

For More Information
See BBB.org/ShoppingOnline for more online shopping tips. For more about avoiding scams this holiday season, check out BBB.org/Holiday-Tips.

BBB Serving Metro NY published an alert on ZoGalaxy, a retailer of Star Wars collectibles.

If you have spotted a scam (whether or not you've lost money), report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim.

If you see a questionable ad, report it to BBB AdTruth.

BBB Thanks Facebook for this Holiday Tip.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 183 million times for BBB Business Profiles on nearly 5.8 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org.

Cision View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/looking-for-this-seasons-hot-toy-bbb-warns-of-scams-301192215.html

SOURCE IABBB

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