Website Selling Scams
Posted on 4th March 2021 at 17:36
So, you think you're getting an excellent bargain? You're happy to wait 6-8 weeks for shipping? You're very excited to have managed to get your perfect chair and rug for £125 when everywhere else they were £250! Hmmmm ... you are going to be in for a HUGE surprise!
You can't believe your luck! You've just had the perfect rug and chair that you've been after handed to you on a plate via a social media advert at more than half the price you would have paid if you had gotten it from any shop in the UK and you feel like the luckiest person on the planet! So you order it quickly before the offer expires or you lose the page or website as you don't want to miss out - does this sound familiar?
There are thousands of rogue websites offering you amazing deals. They know what items you are looking for based on facebook marketing pixels, website search data and other similar marketing techniques and then they target you via social media marketing with the exact items you are looking for at prices that you just cannot resist. Many of the sites we came across were European or US priced and the product deliveries were Chinese based but the scammer behind it all could be anyone anywhere ...
What Will You Receive?
Within a couple of days of paying you will receive a tracking number. It looks like your item will be on the slow boat from China ... but you don't mind because you think you have an awesome deal. Eventually, you receive a package. A teeny, tiny package with your tracking number on it. Not the chair and rug you have so desperately been waiting for to complete your room ... but a really cheap pair of plastic earrings or worse!
It's A Scam!
You are probably feeling very angry and somewhat embarassed at having fallen for this scam
You probably don't have the spare funds to go out and purchase the items again because the scam artist has a good portion of the money you had set aside
The tracking number was real and the seller can prove they have delivered an item to you
Don't be tempted to damage or throw away the item you've received or it's packaging
Don't be tempted to contact the seller. If it is a genuine mistake it will all come out in the wash. When something takes 6-8 weeks to be delivered from China, the chances are that if it is a scam, they will just apologise and offer to resend, making you wait another 6-8 weeks and you may just receive the same tat again. Unfortunately, this time delay may take you over the limit for a refund if you paid using Paypal.
So ... what do you do now ?
Scammers Bank On You NOT Claiming
Scams such as this profit because they are banking on you being one of the following :
too embarassed to admit you've just been scammed to do anything about it
too busy and not realising that was your real delivery and you may have thrown it out thinking it was an error and just junk
too frustrated and angry or upset that you throw the delivery away
Throwing away the packaging leaves you with no evidence of proving what was actually delivered. In many cases, what was ordered and what was delivered is usually vastly different in size and weight so the delivered packages are much smaller and the international postage always has the weight on the outside too, often with a content description. This provides the perfect evidence of the scam.
It's also worth knowing for future purchases from distant places that if you pay by Paypal, follow the progress of your item via the tracking number. If there is no update for 21 days on the tracking number, open a dispute with all your information and tell Paypal that there has been no tracking progress for 21 days. Paypal will give the seller 3-5 days to resolve and then refund you automatically.
Getting Your Money Back
When ordering online from anywhere, best practice is to always take a screenshot of the item you are buying. This helps to remind you of what you item should look exactly like and all the items specific details
If you receive an erroneous package with something you haven't ordered, check the tracking number on the package and then check any outstanding orders you are waiting for - DO NOT throw away the item or the packaging
If the tracking number matches an item you had ordered, contact your payment provider, ie - Paypal, Barclaycard etc..., immediately. Let them know that you have the original order details and images of the items ordered, the sellers confirmation of the tracking number and the take photos of the packaging with clear identification of the tracking number and its contents
If you paid via Paypal, make sure you upload all the photos with your dispute and it will be resolved within 7 days and you will get all your money back. If you paid by card it may take upto 45 days to be resolved but you should eventually get your money back from them via a chargeback process
In most cases you never have to actually speak to a real person - you can do it all online!
There are some great bargains to be had from sites like Wish.com ... just be cautious
... if the offer looks too good to be true, it's probably because it IS!
The sad reality is that anyone can setup a website to sell anything at any price and there is no regulation and no control. So Granny Bloggs round the corner only needs a friend or business partner in China to post out tat for a cut of the profits on every sale! Please make sure if you are shopping online that you only use reputable websites and protect yourself with Paypal purchasing wherever possible.
Or better still ... SHOP LOCAL!
Tagged as: Shopping
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