BBB warns danger of shopping through Facebook ads

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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - Better Business Bureau is reporting an uptick of scams from shoppers that purchase items through Facebook and other social media sites.

"Every avenue they can find to get your money from you, they're gonna find it," Better Business Bureau Community Relations Director Sandra Bowden says on scammers. "Every day I probably get 25 to 30 calls about different scams."

The BBB reports victims said they clicked on an ad to make a purchase only to later report never receiving the item, receiving a different item or becoming the victim of fraudulent charges.

"You'll see those little Facebooks ads, so you'll click on it and it takes you to this page with all these great endorsements," Bowden explains.

BBB experts said if you click on the ad, be sure to evaluate the website, and the business behind it. Legitimate websites will have 'HTTPS' in the domain during check out.

"Just because it says 'www dot com we've got what you want' doesn't mean they're legit," says Facebook user Karen Vandel.

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

Bowden says a user can simply hide the ads to avoid seeing them on their newsfeed.

Sometimes a Facebook friend might share a deal and that's how it pops up on your timeline.

"Normally it's someone who clicks on the ad and they really like it so they post it," explains Bowden.

Other ways to protect yourself includes making sure the seller has a working phone number and address on the website, so you can contact them in case of problems. And being mindful of "too-good-to-be-true" deals.

"If it's something you want to buy over the internet, find out if you're dealing with a real company," advises Vandel.

Bowden says if you don't see a 'terms and conditions' page, don't even bother purchasing from the website.

Click here to report a scam.