Desperate parents targeted by scammers with fake Fingerlings
Better Business Bureau
Every holiday season has its own popular-but-impossible-to-find toy that leaves kids hopeful and parents anxious. This year it’s Fingerlings, the cute finger-puppet monkeys.
Unfortunately, the fact that they have sold out in many stores has turned them into bait for scammers. Con artists are selling counterfeit Fingerlings or simply making sales they don’t plan to fulfill.
How the scam works
You want to purchase Fingerlings for your kids or grandkids, but they seem to be sold out at every store you visit. Instead, you decide to search online. You come across a website, perhaps by clicking on a Facebook ad or other advertisement. The site may seem legitimate and feature images of the original toy. The company may even promise very fast shipping. However, many unscrupulous ecommerce sites have been scamming buyers.
In the past two months, BBB Scam Tracker has received nearly 20 reports of Fingerling scams. Consumers report being unable to contact the company by phone or email when their order doesn’t arrive. Others, who receive counterfeit toys, are told that getting a refund is impossible.
Tips to avoid the holiday toy purchase scam
- Only buy from reputable retailers. Knowing the seller is the best way to avoid getting scammed. It is best to buy products directly from the manufacturer or authorized resellers.
- Beware of unreasonably low prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. An extra low price, especially when toys are sold out at many well-known retailers, should be a red flag. Low prices are often a sign of counterfeit products.
- Be cautious with your personal information. Don’t be quick to give out your name and credit card information to an unfamiliar company. First, call the provided customer service number to make sure it works and someone can answer your questions about products, payment and shipping.
- Review BBB online shopping tips. Many online purchase scams use similar tactics. See org/shoppingonline for more advice.
For more information: Read more about counterfeit product scams on BBB.org.
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