NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Scroll through Facebook or Instagram long enough and you’ll probably see an ad popping up for something that you want. It’s what caught Craig Stuard’s eye. 

“I saw on Instagram an ad. A minimal décor lamp that I can put over there for my work from home situation,” Stuard said. 

He figured, it looks legit. 

“Good price. Exactly what I was looking for. What could go wrong?” Stuard said. 

Turns out everything. 

“I ordered it. Three months later, nothing,” Stuard said. 

Six months later, still nothing. 

“And I look up on their website and there’s no contact info to be reached out for,” Stuard said. 

After trying and complaining, he finally got something in the mail, but it wasn’t what he ordered. 

“It was supposed to be a minimal on the corner lamp and its two little medical lamps that’s used to scan IDs, and scan for like germs or whatever,” Stuard said. 

The BBB says Stuard’s not the only bargain shopper getting a bad deal, especially as scammers take advantage of the fact that many businesses are unfortunately closing. 

“Consumers are getting an advertisement, they’re getting an email or text that shows there’s a great deal online because the company’s going under. They quickly make a purchase, only to find out that either the item doesn’t exist at all, or what they received is absolutely sub standard quality,” Robyn Householder, BBB of Middle Tennessee said. 

With the holiday season around the corner and shoppers purchasing items online, shoppers could be even more vulnerable. 

From 2018 to 2020, the BBB says online shopping scam activity increased from 27 to 43 percent. In middle Tennessee they noticed scam related purchases jumped 16 percent. So before you click purchase, the BBB says do your homework. 

Also, when you shop online, remember it’s a buyer’s beware market. You can’t feel it, see it or smell your product. So get as much information about the product as you can. When you shop online, remember it’s a buyer’s beware market. 

“Legitimate online retailers are not going to force you and pressure you into making a decision on a purchase quickly! And more often that not, that’s what these scam deals are. This price is going to last for 10 more minutes. Or there’s only two left and you feel pressured to make that purchase right away,’ Householder said. 

Stuard hopes sharing his story will keep others from making the same mistake. 

“They know what they’re doing, but, it is frustrating that they know so much to do just enough for the wrong purpose,” Stuard said. 

That’s why he wants you to think twice the next time you notice a good-looking ad on your timeline. 

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