BBB Scam Alert: Not all social media ads are legit

INDIANA – If you are on social media, you’ve seen the uptick in ads for amazing deals. Retailers know this generates a lot of insights and are flooding social media with their offerings. However, consumers need to be aware that not every retailer’s advertising on social media is legitimate. 

Complaints, negative customer reviews, and BBB Scam Tracker reports across the country find issues with placed orders from social media ads.

 Consumers allege everything from non-delivery of orders to poor material quality, wrong sizes, or no labels.  

A consumer in Greenwood, Indiana reported to BBB Scam Tracker they placed an order for a dog bed in July from a Facebook ad that was never delivered. According to the report, the company has since changed its name multiple times on Facebook and similar reviews have been posted on social media from other consumers. 

When it comes to online shopping, BBB offers these tips:  

  • Do your homework. Check out retailers at before you shop. Do an online search of the business with the word “scam” or “complaints” to see what others are saying.    
  • Think before your click. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many sketchy retailers advertise great deals or trendy clothing that don’t measure up to the promotional hype.   
  • Know the advertiser. Some of the best deals are only available online, but be careful. It’s easy for a fake site to mimic a famous retailer’s website, so make sure you are shopping with a legitimate site. A red flag is if the site is missing contact information.   
  • Check a site’s security settings. If the site is secure, its URL (web address) should start with “https” and include a lock icon on the purchase or shopping cart page.    
  • Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections; it’s easier to dispute charges that you didn’t approve. Debit cards, prepaid cards or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card.  
  • Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation page or email confirmation until you receive the item and are satisfied. Be sure to know and understand the return policy and keep this documented with your purchase records.  
  • Keep Your Device Protected. Install a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software. Check for and install the latest updates and run virus scans regularly on your computer, tablet, and smart phone.  


For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. In 2018, people turned to BBB more than 173 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.4 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including BBB serving Central Indiana, which was founded in 1916 and serves 46 counties.