The Secret Way Going-Out-of-Business Sales Are Trying to Trick You

Some sneaky companies are just trying to take your money.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses everywhere, with many companies being forced out of business. Before stores close for good, they tend to give their customers one exciting final sale, which is why the internet has been littered with going-out-of-business sales over the past few months. While snagging some good deals might seem like a great idea, some stores are being sneaky with their sales, so be cautious. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports they are seeing an increased number of complaints regarding fraudulent going-out-of-business sales on their Scam Tracker.

On Sept. 11, the BBB released a statement saying one woman reported ordering hundred of dollars worth of designer clothing from a New York-based store and received low-quality items that appeared to be shipped from overseas.

"What was supposed to be cotton and/or linen was the worst quality polyester. The clothes, in general, were nowhere close to the advertised quality on the website images. Definitely NOT the quality I paid for," the woman told BBB.

The BBB also reports that other customers claim scammers took their money, and that they never received the items they purchased.

Man online shopping sales

Customers have been easily duped via social media platforms like Facebook, the BBB notes. After clicking on an advertisement for a tempting going-out-of-business sale, you're taken to a website featuring desirable items from designer clothing to electronics. The photos and website may seem legitimate, but when your order comes—if it comes—it's not what you paid for.

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San Antonio Regional BBB Director Jason Meza told News 4 San Antonio there is one easy way to identify potentially fraudulent websites. "Any e-tailer that does not let you pay by say a secure platform, say PayPal or through a credit card, think twice because they may not be as legit as you think," he advises.

To avoid these common scams, the BBB advises people to only shop online with stores you're familiar with, look for a secure connection and a privacy policy, and pay using a credit card. And for online deals you can trust, This New Online Shopping Event Has Better Deals Than Black Friday.

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