Suppose you are shopping on online or you see something on social media that you really want to purchase. In that case, it's a good idea to really understand who and what you are buying according to officials with the Better Business Bureau.

President of the Acadiana Bureau, Chris Babin says so far this year, fake websites and fake social media gifts sites have managed to con us out of $380 million dollars across the country.

Before you buy, you might want to research what site is popping up via social media or a browsing site.

Babin says the organization continues to study the issue and is releasing more details through the Theft on a Massive Scale: Online Shopping Fraud and the Role of Social Media.

How Do You Know What to Look for So You Don't Lose Your Hard-Earned Money?

  • Beware of any site with hard-to-find items when other more well-known sites are out.
  • Beware of any social media post or website that offers hard-to-find items at super-low prices.
  • Babin says in looking through the report, officials found that 36% of all online sales where money was stolen were because the sites were fake.

Babin says one of the things you can do to try to protect yourself is to look at the Scam Tracker feature on their website. You can look at the feature to see if someone else has reported either being almost scammed or already scammed by a similar website or social media posts.

You can even sign up for alerts about activity that is happening in our area.

Babin says some other things to keep in mind to help you stay safe are the following:

  • Make sure the website you are wanting to shop on doesn't have any misspellings.
  • Watch out for fake websites that look very much like the real thing, but may have a number or letter in the web address.
  • Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay with gift cards or payment apps.
  • After purchasing from a fake site, you may be targeted with fake tracking information.
  • Be wary of prices that are too good to be true.

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