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A social media advertisement promoting a straightening iron has conned many victims. In the past few months, there have been numerous complaints to BBB Scam Tracker from shoppers fooled by ads promoting a hair straighter called Trendy Iron. Consumers report they paid for the product, but it never arrives.

According to reports, buyers were scrolling through social media when they saw the ad. The advertisement claimed the product could produce amazing results, and it features convincing photos of women styling their hair with the new product.

Shoppers report that after purchasing the product online they received an email confirming the order and guaranteeing a shipping date. But they never receive the item. When they go back to the website, they realize there is no way to contact the company and, in other cases, the site is no longer active.

Trendy Iron is not the only phony product being promoted on social media. Advertisements for clothes, cosmetics, supplements, toys and even pets are all common. Online scams are the riskiest of all scams, with a median loss of $100, according to BBB’s Scam Risk Report. In 2017, Idaho residents lost more than $27,400 to online purchase scams. And the majority of purchases were made through social media advertisements.

To better protect yourself from social media advertisement scams, your Better Business Bureau recommends the following:

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 check for a secure site (look for HTTPS in the domain) and read BBB Business Reviews at BBB.org.

Some social media advertisements also promote well-known brands but are actually counterfeit goods. To spot a “knock-off,” keep in mind that if you pay less for what an item is worth, it is likely to be cheaply made. They steal from designers and innovators who create original work, take business away from honest retailers and reduce tax revenue. In some cases, counterfeit goods finance illegal activities and even exploit child labor.

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For more tips, go to BBB.org/ScamTips. You can report scams at BBB.org/ScamTracker.

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