Action 9: Beware Of Online Electronics Sales Scams
Laptop computers will be big sellers this holiday shopping season, and stores offer them at competitive prices.
If you're like a lot of people, you'll be doing comparison shopping using the Sunday circulars. Many then go online to see where the best prices are.
But a warning: if you find a big difference in prices, it could be a scam.
Better Business Bureau president Tom Bartholomy said some Web sites are phony online electronics companies.
"The prices are great, but when push comes to shove, the product isn’t that great," Bartholomy said.
One Web site he told Action 9 about is Chinatronics, which advertises laptops, cameras and phones. Their price for a $300 iPhone is just $99.
"They've got an iPhone for $99. I mean it’s unheard of. You can't buy it that price anywhere else," Bartholomy said.
Bartholomy said the problem with the advertised iPhone is not that it's counterfeit, but that you probably won’t receive anything at all.
He also said with products like laptops or cameras aren't advertised as brand names so you can't be sure of the quality you'll be getting.
"Like no chance at all you're going to get what you planned on getting," he said.
Bartholomy said if you buy from one of these sites and don't like the product, then return it within your 60-day credit card protection period.
"They know how the credit card game is played. So if they want to try to string you out beyond that 60 days, say, ‘No, I'm not going to play that way.’ And some will require money orders or wire transfers. They won't even take a credit card," he said.
Bartholomy said you should be highly suspect of companies requiring money orders or money transfer. Even if the deals look great, the BBB said be prepared to walk away.