What to Know
- Better Business Bureau serving the New York metro area is alerting public of an alleged fake online bookseller duping students nationwide
- According to BBB Metro New York, the complaints and issues involve the online bookseller Bookitz
- Buyers reported to BBB that payments are allegedly processed upon ordering from website, but shipment isn't received in expected timeframe
The Better Business Bureau serving the New York metro area is alerting the public of an alleged fake online bookseller duping students nationwide.
According to BBB Metro New York, the complaints and issues involve the online bookseller Bookitz, which appears to offer textbooks and educational materials and claims to be located in New York.
Consumers have reported to the BBB that payments are processed upon ordering books from the Booktiz website, however, shipment tracking notifications are not received within the expected time frame after orders are placed, according to the BBB.
Reports filed indicate that multiple attempts to contact the company via an email address were unsuccessful and books were not delivered, the BBB said. Additionally, according to the BBB, complainants claim that the “contact us” button on the website does not work and the website does not list a phone number.
Since May 3, BBB has received 31 consumer complaints and 42 negative reviews, according to the BBB. In addition, 14 Scam TrackerSM reports citing Booktiz have been received by BBB Metro New York, which has assigned the company an “F” rating.
Complaints have been received from individuals in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, according to BBB Metro New York, which adds that almost all the complaints noted their attempted purchases related to textbooks needed for classes.
“It is outrageous to see any website that apparently takes consumers’ money and fails to provide what was promised,” said Claire Rosenzweig, BBB Metro New York President & CEO. “We are sharing this alert so students can protect themselves against such schemes.”
The company website at https://booktiz.com was live as of June 3 and lists an address at Mosco Street in New York City, the BBB notes. A Google street map image shows the address listed to be a street-level restaurant. However, a domain name search of the website shows it was privately registered on March 29 to an address in Panama, according to the BBB. Additionally, a search of the New York State Department of Corporations website finds no entity registered in New York, BBB Metro New York said.
To avoid falling victim to fake online booksellers, BBB Metro New York recommends that students or those purchasing books online: read the information carefully on a website and make sure the address and phone numbers listed are legitimate and working; review the website for obvious grammatical or spelling errors, which may be a sign of a fake site; check BBB.org to see what has been reported; search BBB Scam TrackerSM to see if others have reported issues about a company, and read what others may be saying online.