NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s a scammer’s paradise. With the demand for medical equipment soaring, consumers will never pass on a good deal.

In Middle Tennessee, more people are losing money buying equipment from fake companies online than any other scam.

The Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky recently received a report from a local woman who purchased a pulse oximeter online for a great price.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, received a confirmation email on April 23rd. Two weeks later, a tracking number and a message saying her order was on the way. But, days went by.

“She’s made multiple attempts to contact the company and each time their response is that they’re working on it, they’re behind and they’re going to ship it out next week,” said Robyn Householder, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.

That promise was never fulfilled. Nearly one month later, the woman sent a final email asking for a refund and threatened to file a report.

“Unfortunately, her most recent contact with them, the website is now down and the response she received was in Chinese, so it’s impossible for her to understand what it is they’re saying,” Householder said.

Her money was gone. Hundreds of similar reports have been filed since the start of the pandemic.

“You’re home on your computer more, you’re shopping more and they’re taking every possible opportunity to take your money because of it,” said Householder.

The Better Business Bureau has tips on what to do before you click “add to cart”:

  • Consult your doctor. They can tell you use the best place to purchase a product.
  • Don’t give in to ads on Facebook, text messages or emails offering you a good deal.
  • Type the company’s name in a Google search with the word “scam” to see if any reports come up.
  • Make sure the company’s website is secure. There should be a little lock image in the URL code.

You can also contact the Better Business Bureau directly to find out if the company you are looking to buy from has a good track record.