Shopping for a new pair of sunglasses? Don't fall for this scam

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If an ad offers a price that's too good to be true, it probably is. (KGO-TV)

A summer scam is ramping up because the bad guys know we like our sunglasses.

Elizabeth Wetherell is an apartment manager in Kentucky. She figured she could use a new pair of sunglasses when checking on the complex's pool.

So that's why an Instagram ad offering free Ray-Bans caught her eye.

"The aviators looked legit and shiny and polarized," Wetherell told John Matarese, a consumer reporter at ABC7's Cincinnati affiliate WCPO.

RELATED: Consumer Reports: How to protect yourself from scams

She ordered two pairs, paying just $4.95 for shipping and handling each.

Two months later she still hadn't received her glasses. She says she sent two emails for each pair and never heard back. Adding insult to injury, her credit card was overcharged three times per pair, for $30 altogether.

Elizabeth isn't the only one complaining. Incidents like this are becoming so common the Better Business Bureau, or BBB, has named it.

"We are actually calling it the Ray-Ban Scam at the moment," said Pearl Yon, a spokesperson for the Golden Gate BBB. "This has been going on since 2016."

RELATED: How do you decide which kind of wine to buy? 7 on Your Side investigates wine rating labels

The BBB's Scam Tracker map shows complaints have been reported across the country.

"They are creating fake websites and ads on Facebook and Instagram," Pearl said, noting they claim to offer Ray-Bans at 90 percent off the original price.

The guys over at the Sunglass Hut on Pier 39 know a thing or two about Ray-Bans. They told me one good way to tell the difference between a real and fake pair is that real pairs have the initials "RB" engraved on the inside of the left lens. The etching is very precise.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.
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shoppingconsumer concernsconsumeronline shoppingfashionscamscamsinternetinstagramfacebooksocial media7 On Your SideSan Francisco
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