SEATTLE — Experts are warning online shoppers that an especially bad holiday scamming season is upon us.
Logistical and supply chain issues have scammers targeting products with chips or sensors, which means a lot of electronics and products with a light in them.
"Toys are always going to be a target because scammers, they're pulling on those heartstrings. They know that you want to buy that product for [your] family member and you're going to go about it any way you can," said Logan Hickle with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Great Pacific Northwest.
Online sales are expected to hit $207 billion dollars this holiday season, and while many people think they're too smart for scams, the BBB says online shopping now accounts for more than a third of all scams.
Hickle says there are many things you can do to protect yourself.
Check the address bar and make sure it matches the website you think you're on. Often scammers will put an extra letter or number hidden to trick consumers.
It's also a good idea to check the lock symbol next to the address bar. Hickle says that doesn't necessarily mean it's not a scam, but your personal information should be more protected.
Younger consumers are now often tricked by professional website photos and are drawn in from ads on social media sites that seem legit.
"Our research showed that young people actually fall victim to scams more than old people. And surprisingly this year, they actually lost more money on average as well per scam," said Hickle, who emphasized, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
He also says it's not even about the price tag, texting scams are on the rise with promises to get products delivered on time.
"You're also going to see kinds of products that are going to go up in price. That also may be a scam. They're following the market, but it's still going to be a scam," Hickle added.
Consumers are more likely to get money back from a credit card purchase over debit card use and Hickle says to stay away from making transactions using services like Zelle or Venmo.