Scam online Christmas retailer site offers plenty of red flags

Scam online Christmas retailer site offers plenty of red flags

Santa’s Toy House offers deals that are too good to be true, so beware

Shoppers are getting ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other opportunities to shop for items at bargain prices in the run-up to Christmas. However, there are Grinches out there ready to steal some of your holiday cheer with fake online retail deals that will leave you with a lump of coal.

A resident of West Kelowna left a report on the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker about an online retailer called Santa’s Toy House. The consumer visited the firm’s website, which had photographs of legitimate items at prices that were cheaper than they were at more recognized stores. The consumer reported that when they tried to pay, there were no taxes or shipping fees. When they tried to get feedback about their concerns, they were unable to find any contact information at the site.

“As we approach the biggest shopping season of the year, consumers need to be careful as they shop, especially while online, as scammers are setting traps to steal their money and personal information,” says Karla Davis, Manager for Community and Public Relations at BBB serving Mainland BC.

“Fake online retailers are luring in consumers with low prices. In the end, they may end up with poor quality products or worse, nothing at all, with very limited options for recourse.”

BBB investigations revealed that Santa’s Toy House is a fake online retailer trying to trick consumers into sharing their credit card information. They found that there was no address, phone number, email address, or any other way to contact the business on their website. Reputable retailers usually provide several different ways for consumers to contact them with questions or concerns.

A privacy policy for Santa’s Toy House was only found on the checkout page, and proved to be a dead link. Reputable retailers have easily accessible pages on their websites that outline their terms and conditions as well as their privacy policy, and will have complete details for consumers to review.

None of the Santa’s Toy House social media links connected to any existing social media pages or accounts for the business. Reputable retailers want a strong, visible online presence, and do not want dead links on their website.

No payment method options are listed anywhere on the website, which only allows consumers to enter credit card information on the checkout page. Reputable retailers want to give consumers as many payment options as possible.

The prices on the Santa’s Toy House website were considerably lower than the market price, and there was no difference between the prices listed for Canadian and American customers. One example is a 16” Schwinn Girls’ Bloom Bike. Walmart normally sells the bike for $119, with a sale price of $98. However, the Santa’s Toy House site lists the bike at $74.63.

Santa’s Toy House did not indicate any taxes or shipping charges at checkout. The absence of taxes should be a red flag for consumers, and while many websites offer free shipping for some orders, they will be sure to make that information readily available as an incentive to customers.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

(File Photo)
Crash causes delays on Coquihalla southbound, travel advisory issued

A vehicle incident between Merrit and Hope has caused major delays heading south

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read