OK, you’re scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed and happen upon an advertisement that looks cool. You click on the ad and are encouraged to buy that product and get this cool item.
So, you pull out your debit card and wha-la! You buy it and patiently await its arrival!
Finally, you receive the item(s), but it’s not what you thought you were going to get. It’s smaller, cheaper and not anything like you expected.
What do you do now? Of course, you can contact the vendor and request a refund. But that might not end very well.
The problem started with that enticing advertisement. It was a scam! With the holidays upon us, Facebook is notorious for bringing out the scammers. The advertiser’s intent is to get your attention by offering ‘a great deal for a limited time’ and get your dollar – but then switch it for a cheaper, similar item.
So, what should you do to avoid these scams? First, do a little research on the advertiser before laying down your hard-earned money.
Mardo’s recently did a little investigating on our own on some of these Facebook advertisers. Even we were surprised to learn that a large number of advertisers on Facebook fell into the category as ‘suspicious’.
We also did our homework by reading some of the reviews of previous customers and found that many were shocked to learn that the item they thought they were getting wasn’t anything like the item they received.
Mardo’s offers these tips to help YOU avoid being a victim of these scams.
Many of the advertisers know that people love a good deal. Offering 50-80% off the price gets even the most frugal customer’s attention!
Before you buy, look for the domain of the advertiser – then go to that domain. Is it functioning? Look for the ‘CONTACT US’ link and follow it and see if there is a phone number associated with the advertiser. Is there an email address listed? Does that email address match the domain? If not, most likely, it’s a scam. (Of course, with a new business starting up, it could be as simple as a novice seller’s innocent mistake.)
Next, check out the return policy and the company’s terms and conditions. We found on one website the terms gave the advertiser the right to change an item’s description without notice. Furthermore, they do not warranty the quality of the product ‘even if it doesn’t meet the buyer’s satisfaction’! We read that as a ‘bait and switch’ loop hole.
And the most important thing is to NEVER use a debit card to make an Internet purchase! Use PayPal or a credit card. Banks and financial institutes are more forgiving if you use a credit card vs. a debit card.
Mardo’s recommending reading the following article that was posted on ConsumerReports.org website for more information. With a little research, you can avoid the pitfalls of being scammed!
If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact us and we will do what we can to assist you from being a victim of Internet scams!