BBB warns against fake PPE

(WVLT) -- With a high demand for personal protective equipment, the Better Business Bureau warned scammers are now creating websites to sell items like masks, gloves and hand sanitizers.

(CDC / Debora Cartagena)(License Link)

Crime prevention expert Rania Makarios said during any time of disaster, scammers seek and opportunity to steal money and personal information from others.

"What they're doing is literally coping images from reputable websites, and editorial from reputable websites," she said.

"The links go to the scammers. So you're putting in your credit card information, first and last name, your address not getting the product in return or you're getting an inferior product."

The Federal Trade Commission said fraudulent shopping scams are now one of their top three complaints.

The Better Business Bureau also reported a high volume of scam complaints related to selling personal protective equipment, stating 90 percent of scams in April were related to COVID-19 or fake websites.

Makarios says ways to check for red flags are to look for a contact number on the site and make sure the website is secure.

If the site is secure, it should start with "https" in the address bar.

If you feel you have been scammed you should contact your credit card company, and file a claim with the F.T.C.

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