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Madigan cautions residents shipping holiday packages overseas

(CHICAGO) Illinois residents who send holiday gifts internationally should follow important tips to avoid scams and expensive fees, authorities advise.

“We’ve seen too many instances where people pay excessive fees and packages never arrive because they are ‘lost’ or stolen,” Illinois Attorney Gen. Lisa Madigan in a Better Business Bureau statement Wednesday. “Consumers must investigate a business before shipping their gifts and contact my office or the BBB if their gifts never arrive.”

Before choosing a shipper, check reviews at the Better Business Bureau or call Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 to check for complaints. Typically, the larger the company, the more reliable, officials said.

They also recommend shipping early in the season and keeping an inventory of all tracking numbers, confirmations and insurance information.

“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,” BBB President Steve J. Bernas said.