Consumer Watch: School Supplies Scam Warning

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – Demand for school merchandise is high and it’s raising concerns over online shopping scams.

The National Retail Federation says shoppers are expected to spend an average of $850 dollars per family and parents are bracing for shortages with items like sneakers, backpacks, and gadgets expected to be in tight supply earlier than normal.

“This is where the scammers are finding the opportunity,” Sandra Guile of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) said.  “How can I make the most money off of this situation where people are at a disadvantage, they can’t shop and compare to go to store to store or find it on the shelf.”

The Better Business Bureau recommends using a credit card when buying online because you’ll have additional protections to dispute and resolve charges if you don’t receive the items you purchased.

Meanwhile, the BBB says you can still save money on the items on your list by following these 5 tips:

  1. Make a list and create a budget for those items
  2. Research prices and compare them with other retailers
  3. Buy in bulk and share costs with other parents
  4. Consider buying items at a consignment store
  5. Check around the house. There might be some extra office supplies you didn’t realize you already had.

 

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