Alert for scam ads on social media

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia says consumers need to watch out for scammer offering sales and discounts on name-brand products.

According to a release, scammers have recently been targeting consumers on social media with misleading ads for sales that claim to offer deeply discounted products.

The scam works by posting ads on social media that people may see as they scroll through their feed.

The ads offer name brand shoes, clothes, electronics and more for great prices, in some cases with discounts of up to 95 percent off.
Should a person click on that ad, it takes them to a "shop the deals" website.

However, if a purchase it made, buyers should beware as the scammer either never intended to send the product or the product sent it not the item ordered of the quality promised.

The release says the scammer will simply take the credit card information used to place the purchase.

Some versions of this scam may download malware onto the user's computer through which scammers can access personal information, password history and more.

Shoppers are advised to always know where they are shopping and be wary of buying items from online retailers with which you are not familiar.

Even if using a reputable company, shoppers should double check to before making a purchase to be certain the site is not an imitation.

Scammers will often register domain names that are similar to popular sites or that contain the name of a well-known brand in it.

However, if you go to the real site and can't find the advertised deal, be wary.

Before entering personal information, check the site for a secure connection and privacy policy.

The URL should have "https://" at its beginning and include a lock icon on the purchase page.

The lack of a privacy policy is also a big red flag.

The BBB also says paying with a credit card for online purchases is the safest method because shoppers can dispute fraudulent charges.

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