FORT WAYNE — The Better Business Bureau serving northern Indiana has issued a warning for consumers about trading card company Panini America out of Irving, Texas.

BBB has received hundreds of complaints from consumers, including at least three in northwest Indiana, claiming Panini America never made good on autographed cards offered as part of upgraded boxes of trading cards, according to a news release. Instead of hand-signed cards, consumers received a redemption certificate to be redeemed for an autographed card at a later date.

According to consumers, the redemption cards have never been fulfilled, leaving them without the cards and Panini America with their money, a press release from the BBB reads.

BBB officials said they notified Panini America of a pattern of complaints and that the complaints remain unresolved. To date, BBB workers have processed 237 complaints in the last three years, according to the news release. There have been an additional 20 received this month that are currently pending closure.

Panini America Inc. currently has an “F” rating with the BBB for failures to respond to consumer complaints.

The BBB provided the following tips for consumers to protect themselves while online shopping:

• Research before buying. Use BBB.org and shopper reviews before purchasing. Watch out for phony reviews,…

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