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BBB: Be aware of pop-up holiday shops and delivery scams

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- If you've still got some last minute holiday shopping to do, the Better Business Bureau wants you to be aware of buying gifts from pop-up shops.

While these temporary stores could be another place to get your holiday shopping done the BBB gets hundreds of complaints about these pop-ups every year.

The complaints include things like poor merchandise quality to problems in getting refunds after they close.

Some things to keep in mind before you buy include asking if there's a physical location - an address or phone number. Shoppers should also find out how long the store will be open after the holiday just in case you want to make a return and make sure you know what the return policies are.

The BBB says you should do your research before you shop.

"It's up to the buyer,” said Jake Timmer, CEO of the Better Business Bureau. “We wouldn't tell anyone not to shop there, but we're just saying do your homework. Make a smart informed decision and if you find something that's maybe 20 percent of what it should be normally priced be a little leary about it, but if there's too many red flags just walk away."

The BBB also suggests guarding your personal information. Sometimes paying with cash may be a better option for small things, but credit cards could be the way to go for big purchases because there could be some added protections if there are problems and these retailers disappear. Also make sure you keep your receipt.

The BBB also wants you to be aware of con artists and thieves stealing from shoppers during the holidays.

Millions of packages are delivered every day – even more so during the holidays.

While so many enjoy the convenience of shopping online and getting packages shipped straight to your door scammers are striking hoping shoppers are too busy or distracted to notice.

Some popular delivery scams to look out for include phishing emails that include a tracking link or a message saying the shipper is having trouble delivering a package to you.

Sometimes those links could take you to a site that downloads a virus to your computer.

Also be on the lookout for "missed delivery" tags that scammers put on your door asking you to call and reschedule a delivery - it could just be a way to get your personal information.

Porch pirates are also a common problem this time of year - steal your packages from your doorstep after they're delivered.

The BBB said unfortunately this time of year convenience has to take a back seat.

"Deliver a package where you know a person is going to be,” said Timmer. “Ask your boss if you can have packages delivered at work. Do you have a family member, a relative a neighbor who is home during the day that could receive the packages. You could sign up for a signature if a package is delivered. That way they know someone is home and it's not just left out front."

While Ring doorbells have become very popular for added safety, they don’t necessarily prevent porch pirates from taking your package, but they do give you proof to take to police of when it happens.

Also check your credit card policies - sometimes there are built in protection for theft or broken merchandise to help you get your purchases replaced or you may not even have to pay for it.

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