Facebook's scam product adverts
We have all seen them, at least those who use Facebook, the sponsored advert for wireless headphones or tooth whitening kits with up to 75% OFF RRP! Who wouldn't want some of that action? An offer too good to be true perhaps?
Likelihood is that what you are actually seeing is a sponsored SCAM rather than a genuine company and with a little detective work you can easily identify them.
Identifying the SCAM sponsored Facebook advert
- They appear in your timeline often selling a "look-a-like" product at a fraction of the cost (think VoxBud EarPods AKA Apple EarPods)
- The retail price is never far from the genuine product but it has a huge discount of up to 75% off or even more but for a limited time
- The advert is festooned with emojis used as sweets to lure teenagers in who are blissfully unaware of the scam but want a bargain
- The websites will invariably ALL look the same with the same layout - this is due to most scam companies will actually run 20 or 30 adverts as "different" companies but in effect are all the same company
- Often their own Facebook profile is rather short and there's not much on there because when these scammers launch a product they also launch a Facebook page with it in order to convince the victim that they are genuine. Check out the earliest post - often it's weeks before the advert goes out!
- All of these scam adverts have terms & conditions which often implement lines like "Refunds only if the product is unopened, unused and returned in original packaging". So how do you know what you've actually brought is, well, rubbish? Exactly - you don't without using it and then you cannot return it!
- Also, the T&C's advise you to "insure" your return and the return address is overseas which often, with insurance, costs more than the product cost to buy to return so very few do actually return the item
- When your product arrives which more often than not it most certainly will but rather than a quality item reduced from say £100 to £30 what you get is a very cheap and very nasty item costing around £3 to actually produce. You won't find out until you use it how rubbish it actually is and here please refer to point 6 on returning your product
- Often your product will take 4 to 6 weeks delivery - fair enough - you got a bargain you can wait for it right? Perhaps yes BUT for an extra few pound you can speed this up to 7 days! So here's the maths part: You buy an item at £30 because it is reduced from £80 and reports to be "as good as the original". You want your deal delivered in 7 days so pay an extra say £7 delivery. You've now force out £37 for your product. The company manufactures the rip off item in China where let's face it - most things are ripped off. Your item probably cost around £3 to manufacturer because it will be nasty and very cheaply mass produced. The holding company is usually in the USA so they ship the item via drop ship to you direct from China leaving the Chinese company to pick up the tab. Say this cost £10 to manufacture and ship. This leaves the scam company £27 profit. Your item arrives, you try it, it is rubbish. You cannot return it and if you do you lose your delivery (T&C's). The cost to return is probably around £12 plus you are advised to insure it so add £5
- And now the FUN part! Often the return address is simply NOT CORRECT so your return goes around and around never reaching home and the scammer will only refund when the item arrives and is unused!
- OK so it costs you a few pound so you accept it and move on. The SCAM company closes and resurfaces under a new name with a new sponsored advert and a whole new market of gullible consumers eager for a bargain!
- Often these scammers will take upwards of £1 to £2 million with a single run. If they are unlucky and the buyer pursues them via their credit card they may lose 10% but they still make a lot of money! By the time the card company catches up with them they have phoenixes into another company selling the same rubbish!
FACEBOOK actively promotes and allow these scammers to operate through very slack control!
Please do NOT get suckered into these scam adverts - you are better of through eBay or Amazon where strict control is maintained with regards selling rubbish and returning the products.
Lastly - NEVER trust none verified reviews! They are often created by paid off individuals or company workers and are as fake as the product themselves!
For further reading have a look here (opens a new window) - https://www.voxbuds.co.uk
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