MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The Better Business Bureau said they expect this holiday season to be unlike any other since more people are heading online to do their shopping, but with more online shopping comes a new set of dangers.

Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-south said there’s a specific reason why more people are shopping online.

“We expect the 2021 holiday season to be none like any other,” Irwin said.

He said labor shortages and supply chain issues are mainly to blame. However, he also said scammers are taking notes and they’re getting ready to take your money. 

He said online shopping scams make up 40% of all scams reports to the Better Business Bureau.

Just in the Memphis metro area, Irwin said they received 187 online scam reports equaling a total loss of more than $144,000 so far this year.

That’s nearly triple the amount they saw last year when they received 139 reports equaling a total loss of a little more than $50,000. 

Irwin said there are ways you can protect yourself and that’s by recognizing the red flags.

“There are tons of fake websites out there and they can be really hard to spot,” he said.

So, here are a few things you need to be aware of:

—  A Huge discount on a hot item. He says if it looks too good to be true, it probably is a scam. 

— Scammer Grammar. Irwin says if a site is full of spelling errors of shoddy grammar, it’s probably fake. 

–Limited or suspicious contact information. 

Irwin also suggests that people use a credit card when making purchases so you can easily dispute any fraudulent charges, but if a site won’t allow you to use your credit card, he said you should log off.

“Or if they take your credit card and it doesn’t go through and they call you and tell you they want you to pay via zelle or cashapp, that’s going to be a big red flag,” he said.

The BBB says if you see something shady online, they encourage you to report it to their website or by calling (901)-759-1300.