(WAFB) - Representatives from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) report an uptick in complaints from shoppers who claim they spent hundreds of dollars on “hard-to-find” or custom sneakers they found while browsing through social media, but never received.
A BBB report states posts and sponsored ads pop up on accounts run by popular users who collect and resell sneakers. These sellers seem legitimate and buying from them is as simple as sending a direct message. After a short conversation complete with photos, the user asks the shopper to make a payment using CashApp, Venmo, or other peer-to-peer payments apps or online forms of payment.
However, the shoes never arrive after the payment is made, according to the BBB report.
The BBB said one shopper was blocked on social media and blocked from calling the seller.
BBB tips to avoid social media sales scams
- Research the seller. Read the comments and reviews of other consumers on the seller’s social media accounts and website, and on the BBB website. If other buyers make negative comments or report not receiving the merchandise they paid for, steer clear. Review the seller’s website carefully to make sure it is secure and legitimate before making a purchase. If they say they are an authorized reseller, verify that claim.
- Use a safe payment method. Apps like Venmo, Facebook Pay, CashApp, and the like may seem like convenient ways to pay, but this kind of app was designed to allow friends, family members, and coworkers to send each other money. BBB advises against using payment apps with strangers; instead, use a credit card.
- Don’t be pressured to make a quick purchase. Many scammers try to pressure you to buy, even if the deal doesn’t quite feel right. They may claim “this is the last pair of sneakers they have in stock” or “it’s a deal that won’t last long because the sneakers are a collectible pair worth much more than the selling price.” Never purchase under pressure. Do your research first, then buy.