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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Serious shoppers know that Black Friday is not for the faint of heart. And while most love the hunt for a bargain, fake advertisements could put a damper on the experience.
On the day after Thanksgiving, shoppers push and claw through crowds as they navigate the mayhem that comes with big deals.
"People are just out there and it gets crazy," said shopper Robin Sarver. "Like last year with my co-worker, she was on one side of the bin and I was on the other and she said, 'What color do you want?' and she threw me what I needed."
Even with Black Friday more than a week away, shoppers have already gotten a peek at the sales. Several online deal sites leaked Black Friday ads more than two weeks out.
But Grand Valley State University Marketing Professor Jennifer Pope says you shouldn't always believe what you see. Some of those leaked ads could be bogus.
"If you do get scammed, the stores aren't going to be responsible for that, so they don't have to honor those deals," said Pope.
She said there are some signs to watch out for while shopping.
"If there's no official logo for the company or there's not enough detail about the company itself," said Pope. "Honestly, if it's too good to be true, it probably is."
Getting scammed would add even more chaos to an already hectic shopping experience.
"That wouldn't be good, especially if you go to a store for a certain item," said shopper Lorrie Mitchell. "I might be a little upset."
And for some, the false ads could disrupt a Black Friday shopping battle plan.
"I would be really angry because it would be a waste of your time it would mess up everything because you hit certain stores at certain times," said Sarver. "You already know what you're going there for."
So before you hit the stores looking for a steal, make sure it's not a scam. One way to do that is to cross-check any ads to make sure they are real.
"I think the people who quote-unquote leak the ad, I think it's fun for them to create that kind of confusion and that kind of hysteria," said Pope. "Some of those could potentially lead to the violence we've seen on Black Friday if people go to the stores and discover it's a bogus ad."
A man is in jail, allegedly connected to 14 burglaries that occurred in Cass County this month.
A sheriff's deputy car and a Michigan State Police SUV were among the damaged vehicles.
Broadmoor Avenue has reopened after it was shut down due to a four-vehicle crash in Caledonia.