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Be wary of websites offering the hottest toys of 2020 at discounted prices

Updated: Dec. 10, 2020 at 2:10 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Every year there are a few “must-have” toys on most kids’ holiday wish lists. This year it’s a Star Wars doll and a pooping flamingo - yes we said pooping flamingo - google it!

The hot toys sell out fast, which means you need to watch out. Scammers are using the popularity of the hottest toys to trick parents out of their money.

Here’s how it works: You’re looking for specific toys in stores, but they are sold out, so you go online.

A quick search takes you to a page that miraculously has the toy in stock. The site may look professional and have original images of the product. It may even offer the product at discounted prices, claiming a “last-minute deal” or “flash sale.” Unfortunately, many of these offers are fakes.

We found quite a few cases reported to the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker website including a person who paid $59.99 for a “baby Yoda.”

She says, “It was supposed to be animated and make a sound. When I finally got it, it was an ugly plastic hand puppet. I contacted them for a refund and an address to send it back. They say I have to pay for shipping, and it will be $20. And they will give me a 10% refund.”

“If you don’t see that HTTPS, it’s not a secure website. I would not order from that and go to your major vendor’s major companies. Go directly to them. If they don’t have the toy then it’s something else,” said Moore.

Moore adds that you need to research before you buy. If a company seems legitimate but you aren’t familiar with it, be extra careful.

Before offering up your name, address, and credit card number, make sure the company has a working customer service number and their website address starts with “https.”

And don’t be fooled by extra-low prices. Unreasonably low prices are a red flag for a scam especially from a company you’ve never heard of before.

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