BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous complaints from shoppers fooled by too-good-to-be-true social media ads. Just because a company advertises on Facebook, Instagram or another social platform does not mean it is trustworthy. Be sure to do your research before making a purchase.

How the Scam Works:

You are scrolling through social media and see an ad in your feed. Advertisements for clothes, make-up, beauty products, toys and even puppies are all very common. The ads hook you by offering a great deal, or, in the case of a beauty or health product, by claiming to produce amazing results. They may also promote a popular toy or product that’s difficult to find in stores.

If you click on the ad, be sure to evaluate the website (and the business behind it) before making a purchase. BBB Scam Tracker has received reports from customers who were overcharged, never received their orders or ended up with faulty (or entirely different!) products.

Protect Yourself from an Online Shopping Scam

Facebook, which owns Instagram, reviews its ads for content. But it does not evaluate the businesses behind those ads.

Before buying online, confirm the site has real contact information. Make sure the seller has a working phone number and address on the website, so you can contact them in case of problems.

If the price seems too good to be true, there’s probably something wrong. Be wary if the item is selling for significantly lower than what you’ve seen elsewhere.

Do your research. Before making a purchase, be sure to look for a secure site (look for HTTPS in the domain) and check their BBB Business Review (

For More Information

To learn more about Facebook advertising, check out their ad review policy.  Many online purchase scams use similar tactics. See for more advice.

If you are the victim of a scam or want to search scams, please go to the BBB Scam Tracker at  Be a hero to your community by warning others. Feel free to contact the Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona at (520) 888-5353 or visit our website.

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