Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois today urged Illinois residents who send holiday gifts internationally to follow important tips to avoid being scammed and paying expensive fees when packages are “lost,” stolen or delayed.
“Unfortunately, scam artists take advantage of generosity during the holiday season when many people ship gifts internationally to their families and friends,” Madigan said. “We’ve seen too many instances where people pay excessive fees and packages never arrive because they are ‘lost’ or stolen. Consumers must investigate a business before shipping their gifts and contact my office or the BBB if their gifts never arrive.”
“The cost of shipping internationally can be steep especially during the holiday season, but consumers need to be very cautious when they go looking for a great deal, which can leave them disappointed at best or ripped-off at worse,” said Steve J. Bernas, BBB president and CEO.
Madigan and Bernas urged consumers to follow these tips when shipping packages internationally:
If consumers who ship a package experience an issue or delay, they can contact The Federal Maritime Commission, http://www.fmc.gov/, which regulates U.S. international ocean transportation and is the registrar for international shippers.
Madigan urged consumers affected by an international packaging scam to file a complaint with her office by calling her Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438. Consumers also can file a complaint on Madigan’s website and with the BBB at www.bbb.org.