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Some naughty people are trying to take advantage of you while you're doing holiday shopping

Be careful, especially this time of year.

TAMPA, Fla. — Who still has Christmas shopping to do? Probably a few of you. And, if one of the hottest toys of the season is on your list...beware!

The Better Business Bureau says the bad guys know what toys are popular and know, in a time crunch, you are willing to pay a premium price for those gifts.

Some of the hottest toys this season are ZoGalaxy's Star Wars toys, Funko's Pop! figurines, Hatchimals and Magformers. The BBB says toys like these sell out fast; and if you find them, they can be pretty pricey.

Scammers are taking advantage and posting those hot gifts on fake websites. So, you put in your order online, the crooks get your money, but you never get your gift.

They take an original image of the product and post it to tell. They may also have it show up as a last-minute deal. When you don’t get your gift and you try to contact the company, there is no contact info, or you may get a disconnected number.

So, how do you avoid these scams? Here are tips from the BBB:

  • Only buy toys from reputable stores and websites. The best way to avoid getting scammed when purchasing toys is to buy them directly from a seller you know and trust.
  • Don’t be fooled by extra-low prices. Unreasonably low prices are a red flag for a scam on many products. Avoid making a purchase from a retailer you aren’t familiar with just because the price sounds too good to be true – it probably is!
  • Research before you buy. If a company seems legitimate but you aren’t familiar with it, be extra careful with your personal information. Before offering up your name, address, and credit card information, make sure the company has a working customer service number.

If you notice anything that seems strange, click here to contact the Better Business Bureau.

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