Sneakers can be extremely expensive.  For example, a pair of Air Jordan 2 OG  sneakers sells for $31,000.  While most sneakers are not that expensive, they are still a costly item.  Many young people collect sneakers and are looking for deals when they can.  Recently there have been reports of expensive sneaker scams on Instagram where posts or sponsored advertisements are appearing that offer rare sneakers for attractive prices.  The seller appears to have a lot of Instagram followers, but that is not a clear indication that the seller is legitimate.  The seller often sends photographs of the shoes to prospective customers/victims who respond to the scammers ads or post.  Once the victim is convinced to purchase the sneakers, the victim is told by the scammer to use Venmo or some other Peer to Peer Payment Service . Peer to Peer Payment Payment Services (P2P) such as Zelle, Venmo, ApplePay PayPal, Square Cash and PopMoney are popular ways to quickly and conveniently send money electronically from your credit card or bank account. They also are easy ways to be scammed and unlike with scams targeting your credit cards directly, you may not have as much protection under the law to get your money back if you do get scammed.  These P2P payment systems are useful for sending money to friends, family and others you know well, but they should not be used for commercial transactions.  People falling for the Instagram sneaker scam end up making payments without any recourse and never receiving anything in return.

TIPS

Never buy anything from an online seller unless you have thoroughly researched the seller to make sure that the seller is legitimate.  Some good places to do your research are the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org,, and Reseller Ratings at www.resellerratings.com.

Whenever you shop either online or in a brick and mortar store you should use your credit card rather than a debit card or some other form of payment because you have much more protection under the law if the sale was a scam if you use a credit card than any other form of payment.

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