OKLAHOMA CITY - April Whalen was tricked by scammers advertising OU jackets on Facebook and what made this one so special was that it was going to have son, William's, name embroidered on the back.
“He only had two Christmas presents and that was one,” April said.
Mom's account still got charged and William got short-changed on Christmas morning.
“We don't know what happened,” William said. “All we heard is it wasn't coming in.”
The In Your Corner bottom line is an online retailer or someone pretending to be one can show up one day and be gone the next, making it near impossible to recoup your cash.
President and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma, Kitt Letcher, warns social media is a hunting ground for scammers.
“What we tell people is always shop with a credit card, because it is one of the few ways you can actually recoup your funds if you have been taken advantage of,” Letcher said.
That's the one silver lining in all of this.
April was able to dispute the fraud charge with her card issuer, but there are other threats to consider.
These bogus ads can take you to sites that put harmful viruses on your computer.
Letcher said, “They can then copycat your information and create multiple identities for you and also get into your bank accounts and wreak havoc on your life.”
Have no fear the In Your Corner team is here.
Without hesitation Cherea Golden and apparel retailer House of Bedlam stepped up to go in William's corner and to our surprise, they sweetened the pot.
“We've actually started a sale today,” Cherea said. “Buy one get one free. We're going to give him one of each.”
Both jackets in hand, we arranged for the Whalen family to stop back by the News 4 studios.
Mom was onto us, but not William, and he was so surprised.
We wanted the second jacket to be one size larger, so William can grow into it.
One thing we tried, but couldn't pull off was getting William's name put on the back of the jacket, because schools like OU and OSU have specific licensing agreements.
“If they're offering to put a name or customize something for you that's pretty much a red flag or a dead giveaway,” Golden said. “You have to get approval from licensing.”
Look for official stickers.
William can't wait show off his new jacket to friends at school.
So much to grin about and relief for mom, who was finally able to make her boy's Christmas wish come true.
- The last thing you need is your personal information falling into the wrong hands.
- Always make sure you're dealing with a secure website.
- Look for a web address that has HTTPS in it.