SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers that scams will be on the rise this holiday season.

According to the BBB, due to the supply chain crisis many common gifts will be in short supply. These short supplies could lead to online purchase scams as desperate shoppers turn to shady websites in hopes of finding this year’s must-have gifts.

BBB credits their Scam Tracker with the statistic that 40% of scams reported to the Bureau in 2020 were online purchase related.

Nancy B. Cahalen, President & CEO of BBB of Central New England, also knows scams are on the rise. That gift that you can’t find anywhere and then you find it for half price on a site you never heard of, “it’s not a Christmas miracle, it’s a scam,” Cahalen said recently during a radio interview. “What comes with shortages? Scams. Shop safe, shop smart is what BBB always suggests . . . Scammers use all sorts of methods to get you to part with your money. Don’t be rushed into making any payments. Always have your antenna up and be wary when shopping online.”

The BBB recommends several tips to “Shop safe, shop smart” this holiday season:

  • Research before you buy
  • Beware of fake websites
  • Make sure the website is secure
  • Be careful purchasing sought-after products, especially during the holiday season
  • Beware of making quick purchases while scrolling through social media
  • Use secure and traceable transactions and payment methods