CROMWELL, Conn. — As marijuana becomes legal in more states, scammers are taking notice and coming up with new schemes to take a share of the profit. Although Better Business Bureau has not received any reports of victims in Connecticut since legal sales of recreational marijuana started earlier this month, we feel it is important to share this warning before local consumers become the next target. Victims have submitted numerous reports to BBB Scam Tracker
about scams targeting customers of marijuana dispensaries in New York, Massachusetts, and Colorado. These phony shops make up legitimate-sounding fees to cheat customers out of their money.
How the scam works
You do an online search for a local marijuana dispensary and find a new place that seems legitimate. They may even offer home delivery.
At first, everything seems normal. You call the dispensary and place an order. Then, you make a payment through a digital wallet app
like Zelle or CashApp. However, the company then informs you that you need to pay another fee. In most BBB reports, the “dispensary staff” insists that the extra money covers “delivery insurance” or is standard for all new clients. The fee is typically a few hundred dollars, but the scammer promises you’ll receive a refund once the delivery is complete.
Don’t fall for it! Once you make a payment, the person you spoke with will disappear, and the company becomes unreachable. If you’ve sent the money through a digital wallet app, it’s unlikely you can get it back.
In similar scams, con artists take your money but deliver fake products. One consumer purchased edibles from a reputable-looking company. However, when the product arrived, “I threw the packages away after putting one of the edibles in my mouth, tasting chemicals, and experiencing a burning sensation.” Not only can imitation products cost you money, but they can also be harmful to your health.
How to avoid similar scams