The Better Business Bureau has flagged SantasToyHouse.com is an illegal, fake site that scams buyers by stealing credit card information. (Contributed)

West Kelowna resident warns of Santa’s Toy House scam

Santa’s Toy House almost scammed a West Kelowna resident out of some Christmas gifts

While Santa may be the trustworthy figure we all know from the North Pole, don’t let Santa’s Toy House scam you.

The Better Business Bureau is warning shoppers to be aware of fake online retailers after a West Kelowna resident brought the website SantasToyHouse.com to their attention.

Initially, the website looks legitimate, but dig a little bit deeper and you will find the website has many red flags that indicate it is a massive scam.

Santas Toy House is a fake retailer that tries to trick consumers into sharing their credit card information. The website has really low prices that are too good to be true. It also doesn’t charge any taxes or shipping fees which is a very big indicator of a scam site.

“All they’re trying to do is collect your credit card information,” said Karla Davis with the BBB.

“They will probably process it for the amount that you’ve agreed to pay and checkout and then they will have your details at their disposal.”

Davis encourages shoppers to do research on a business if you are unsure of a business you have never used before or are unfamiliar with. Shoppers should visit BBB.org and check if Better Business Bureau has a business profile on the company and if they do not, it is most probable that the website is not legitimate.

“In most cases, if we don’t have a business profile it’s usually a red flag,” said Davis. “Think before you click. Look out for those prices that are way too low, especially if you are looking on other websites that are reputable sources and you are noticing a gap between the price.”

BBC also provides other tips for safe online shopping.

  • Know the advertiser: make sure it’s not a fake site copying a legitimate one.
  • Check the site’s security settings: look for the “https://” at the start of the URL and a lock icon on the shopping cart or purchase page.
  • Be a savvy shopper: take your time shopping online, read the fine print before submitting your order, and look for the return policy.
  • Protect your personal info: read the privacy policy. Not having one is a big red flag.
  • If it seems to good to be true, it probably is: watch for hidden costs or a monthly charge. Read the fine print.
  • Be aware of phishing: double-check the sender on that email. They could be pretending to be a legitimate site.
  • Use a credit card: gift cards, prepaid cards and debit cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card.
  • Keep your receipts: save a copy of the confirmation page or email confirmation until you get your items.
  • Keep a clean machine: Install a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and keep it updated.

READ MORE: Suspects avoid RCMP spike belt during Okanagan wide crime spree

READ MORE: $150,000 wakeboard boat stolen in West Kelowna

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