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‘You’ll have security:’ BBB encourages paying with a credit card to avoid online purchase scams

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OCONOMOWOC -- An online ad caught the attention of an Oconomowoc woman who was blown away by its deep discounts. It left her saying, "Buyer beware," and officials with the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau said she's far from alone.

"I did not receive what I thought I was purchasing," said Michelle Sherrer.

A pair of boots caught Sherrer's attention when they popped up on her Facebook feed.

"It was an impulse purchase, so I didn't take the time to identify where the product was coming from," said Sherrer.

Boots from

As it turned out, it was coming from overseas. When the boots arrived two months later, there was a reason for the deep discount.

"From a quality standpoint, they were like, Halloween costume quality," said Sherrer.

Lisa Schiller

Lisa Schiller

They were not boots Sherrer could wear outside.

"They felt more like slippers that you would wear around the house," said Sherrer.

The Better Business Bureau gave the website a D-plus, and BBB officials said Sherrer experienced one of the BBB's top reported scams in 2019.

"Either you do not receive your merchandise, or you receive your merchandise and it's counterfeit," said Lisa Schiller with the BBB.

The BBB's Scam Tracker Risk Report listed online purchase scams as the No. 3 riskiest scam nationwide, and it's common in southeast Wisconsin. That's why BBB officials said you should always pay with a credit card so you have a better chance of getting your money back.

"You'll have some security if you pay with a credit card company because your credit card company will go to bat for you," said Schiller.

Sherrer asked for a refund, but was denied.

"They just suggested that if I didn't like them, maybe I could give them to a friend," said Sherrer.

Officials at did not respond to requests for comment from FOX6.

Other scams that made the BBB's list for 2019 were employment scams, cryptocurrency scams, and fake check or money order scams.

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