SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Many shoppers are already heading online to find the perfect Christmas gift.

However, the Better Business Bureau said shopping scams are a big issue again this year.

Regional Director Pamela Hernandez said if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“Losses for 2022 are approaching $380 million from online shopping fraud,” said Hernandez.

The BBB said before the purchase, people might encounter fake advertisements on social media.

Then, while shopping, people may be enticed by the low prices.

After the purchase, fraudsters may send fake tracking information and request more money for safe delivery.  

“If the price is so low, it probably isn’t true,” said Hernandez. “Scrutinize those websites carefully. Look for spelling errors, and bad grammar.”

She said a lot of times, credit card payment failures may lead the seller to ask for payment over peer-to-peer payment apps or with gift cards. 

It’s encouraged to pay with a credit card for a better chance of getting money back if something happens. 

Tamara Hunter from Branson said she wants people to pay close attention to these details. 

In her case, she bought a puppy online that never came.

“We had communication,” said Hunter. “When I was speaking with the breeder, it wasn’t enough. I just don’t want anyone else having this kind of painful situation.”

Hunter said she recommends people try to FaceTime with the seller to better verify the purchase is real. 

Hernandez said to check BBB.org for BBB Business Profiles and consumer reviews.