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Parma consumer issues warning about holiday imposter websites after failed attempt to buy air fryer

He now has $6K in bad charges
Parma man issues warning about holiday imposter websites
Posted at 10:06 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-04 15:44:41-05

PARMA, Ohio — All that Kenneth Ross of Parma wanted for the holiday season was a new air fryer, instead he's now facing more that $6,000 in bogus charges on his Visa card after he gave his account information to an impostor website.

Ross said he thought he was dealing with the authentic Ninja air fryer web page when he purchased the $120 kitchen appliance, but when he got his most recent credit card statement it was filled unauthorized charges and nearly a dozen foreign transaction fees.

“I was really upset, I couldn’t believe it, I was just going to check my Visa card," Ross said. "I had to call Visa and tell them what happened and then they have to go through each item and all separately and check it and see if I’ll get a credit back.”

Ross said that the imposter site was a nearly an exact replica of the Ninja official website.

“I thought it was the real thing, it's almost the exactly same pictures of the whole thing, and it explains what it is, what it does—exactly the same thing," Ross said. "And all of the bad charges were all out of the country from Australia, I didn’t buy anything from Australia, I wasn’t planning on buying anything from Australia.”

Cleveland Better Business Bureau President Sue McConnell said there has been an increase in impostor web pages that are trying to lure unsuspecting consumers with rock-bottom prices. McConnell said consumers should check the authenticity of the web address and price by attempting to call the company or through online research.

McConnell said impostor websites will often contain misspellings or have links that don't operate and added the Ninja impostor page had some key information that was missing.

“It's so easy for a scammer to create a very authentic looking website that has pictures of products and tempting prices," McConnell said. "On the fake Ninja webpage there was no address, no email, no phone number for the company on this site.”

McConnell continued, advising consumers“research companies if you’ve never used them before, don’t be tempted to buy because the prices look so good. It's very easy to copy photos from other websites, to create phony customer testimonials, to even put an address on the site that is not legitimate...scammers know that we’re online, it’s the holiday shopping season, they know what the popular items are.”

The Better Business Bureau issued a new study on Dec. 2 indicating an increase in online purchases, especially among shoppers that were looking for a specific item through a webpage found via social media, which led them to fake retailers.