Fear tactics: Scammers try to take advantage of unusual Halloween

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there's no doubt Halloween will look different this year.

If you are still celebrating, there are some steps you can take to protect your cash. Shopping for costumes is often when people lose money, especially if they shop online. You need to do the research to see if the website you're buying from is legit.

The first step is to make sure the URL starts with "https" and includes a lock symbol. The s in "https" stands for secure. Make sure you look up the website's privacy policy and contact information. If it is not clearly listed, or they only have an email as the point of contact, take that as a big red flag and shop elsewhere. Also, whether buying your costume online or at a store, don't pay until you read the fine print.

"Look at return policies, if you get your costume and it doesn't fit right, how long it is going to take to get my money back or if I order another costume, how long is it going to take to get to me," said Alyssa Parker with the Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina.

The BBB also recommends if you're shopping at a seasonal "pop-up" store to see if they have a website in case you have to contact them later, save every receipt, use a credit card so you can dispute problems with the card's issuer and make sure you are clear on what items are FINAL SALE.

Candy companies are already expecting 20% of consumers to order candy or pick it up curbside. With that knowledge in hand, the BBB suggests it's important to get started on your Halloween plans sooner rather than later.
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