Top 10 ways to stop Grinches

Better Business Bureau warns about scammers, and scanners

The holiday season is upon us and so are Grinches and Scrooges out to take your money by unsavory means.

Whether you are online or in a store, BBB advises consumers to be on the look-out for scammers and know the company’s policies before you pay.

Take steps to avoid common problems such as items that can’t be returned, gift cards that can’t be used and orders that never arrive:

1. Think twice before clicking a link sent to you via email as they could lead to viruses and allow Grinches to get your personal and banking information. Check www.mbc.bbb.org for safe websites and stores.

2. Make sure to check out the businesses privacy policy before giving out personal information. If shopping online, be sure your computer has the most up to date anti- spyware.

3. Keep all your receipts and read the fine print: Online businesses are required by law to send you your product within 30 days unless otherwise stated or you do get your money back. Understand that refund and exchange policies can differ significantly from one seller to another.

4. Pay with a credit card, instead of cash or bank card: If it’s a scam you’ll have record of it and are more likely to get your money back, dispute the charges if you don’t receive the item or dispute charges made to your account. No other form of payment offers this. Also make sure to check your credit card statements often and not just when your bill comes in.

5. Beware of gift card scams: Con artists can get important numbers off of the gift cards before you have even bought them by scanning the identifying number before hand. They can then go onto the website and see when it is activated, once activated they can use your gift card to purchase items. Instead, ask for gift cards behind the counter instead of the ones displayed and use your gift cards as soon as possible.

6. Don’t leave your purchases in plain sight in your car: The holidays are a car thief’s prime time to break in and steal your purchases. So either remove your purchases from your car or make sure they are out of sight. Unlike the Dr. Seuss story those gifts wont be returned by the Grinch to your car because his heart has suddenly grown.

7. Verify validities of charities The sneakiest Scrooges will often adopt a similar name to known charities, so make sure you do your research and always make out your payment to the charity and not individual solicitors.

8. Make a list and check it twice: Often consumers will head out to the malls and spend more money than intended, so make a list of what you want to spend and keep track of how much you are spending.

9. If going with a layaway plan check out their policy, and if they are BBB accredited: Layaway is an excellent option when paying for something pricier make sure to find out all the details, like how much you need to put down, interest costs, when payments are due, and their return policy so that there are no surprises at the end.

10. Beware of deals that sound to good to be true. They probably are: When shopping online there are hundreds of website offering to beat out the next website with their own deals. Make sure to check if the website is legitimate.

Sometimes paying less can often cost you more.

Just Posted

Maple Ridge’s Johanne Bolduc, a self-proclaimed bird lover, shared a picture of a Kingfisher and its prey that she spotted Tuesday along the dikes in Pitt Meadows – along the North Alouette River. She labelling her photo “Great Catch.” It was a great catch for the bird and Bolduc. Kingfishers are known to be very timid of people, so getting a picture of the majestic bird, she said, tends to be difficult and uncommon. Send us your photo showing how you view this community, email to: editor@mapleridgenews.com. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Fine-feathered friend motivates Maple Ridge bird lover to learn more

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Platinum Enterprises is building a 330-unit apartment complex on Brown Avenue in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)
Council okays huge apartment complex in downtown Maple Ridge

330 units in three five-story condo buildings on Brown Avenue

Maple Ridge Coun. Ahmed Yousef says observing Ramadan during a pandemic was very different. (News files)
Maple Ridge city councillor celebrates Eid al Fitr after 30 days of fasting

Coun. Ahmed Yousef said this year’s Ramadan was lonely without close community contact

Tori Peterson has been named a first team all-star in the NCAA Ohio Valley Conference. (Facebook/Eastern Kentucky University)
Pitt Meadows pitcher an all conference player in the NCAA

Tori Peterson has been outstanding this season for Eastern Kentucky University

Lorna Seip touches up the mural on the wall at MRSS, working with students from the Rainbow Club. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Rainbow club puts message of inclusion at MRSS main entrance

Maple Ridge secondary grad says SOGI symbols are powerful

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read