Marijuana dispensary scams reportedly on the rise

Marijuana dispensary scams reportedly on the rise

CRANSTON - With new recreational pot shops now open in Rhode Island and Connecticut, some Southern New Englanders want to give legal weed a try.

Unfortunately, the Better Business Bureau said scammers are already capitalizing on the interest.

WJAR Consumer Advocate Emily Volz reports on the rise in marijuana dispensary scams. (WJAR)

The BBB said victims are attempting to purchase marijuana online with the promise of home delivery. But instead, scammers are creating fake websites and charging customers phony fees via cash apps. Victims said they're shelling out hundreds of dollars for products that never arrive.

“Now that it is being legalized throughout the different states here in New England, scammers are keen at targeting consumer with potential scams,” said Paula Fleming, who is the chief marketing and sales officer at the Better Business Bureau. “The ones that we're hearing via our have been identified as scammers that are asking for payment through digital wallet apps such as Zelle or Cash App.”

“We are encouraging people, if you are purchasing through a dispensary, do not provide payment via those cash apps," she added.

In addition to avoiding payments via cash apps, the BBB said it's also important to do some research.

It is a new industry in Connecticut and Rhode Island, and many of businesses are new. If you have doubts about whether a business it legitimate, visit the business in person before you hand over your money.

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