Below scam e-tailer websites pose as a legitimate vendor (mostly a Chinese exporter). If you visit the sites below, you’ll notice that most of them only accept Western Union (+ other money transfer services) and bank T/T transfers. This is the number one sign of a fraudulent activity. Even if a store accepts credit cards, don’t trust them as they could be after your credit card itself. Stay away from websites below. To quickly look up a site, use “ctrl+f” or “/” (only available in some browsers) to search.
pengshuna.com / pengshunfa.com
* wwshipping.info and cornwadeserves.com are fake shipping companies that trick people into believing that they have a valid tracking code. Thanks to users, Assie and Abu Haneefah, for reporting. They are supposedly UK companies, but like many UK scams, they seem to be of Nigerian origins. I have to say, the Nigerian scammers are quite creative sometimes. But Chinese tend to make better websites. Nigerians are actually making better looking sites now.
These are probably just a handful of many scam stores out there. Plus, a new one pops up everyday and older ones disappear quickly. It’s tough to keep up with them.
Their tactic (This applies to most of the sites above but not all)
Speed matters. The site springs up quick and advertise via spam, Facebook, Craigslist etc with too-good-to-be-true prices on brand name merchandise.
A customer makes a purchase and sends the money using a banks transfer or Western Union (and other money transfer services). No Paypal or credit card will be accepted as they won’t be able to hold on to the money once the customer complains to Paypal or CC company.
Most times after you pay for the product and supposedly shipped, they will claim that the product is being held in customs and that you will have to pay a fee (usually $50 or so). They will makes it sound as though they are helping you out saying they will cover half of the customs fee. In any country, this is not how customs work. It’s the receiver that receives the notice, not the sender. This is how they swindle a little extra from you.
You’ll never see the product in any case.
After a while when they are either satisfied with the site’s performance or they feel that their tail is getting too long, the site will be shut down. Most sites don’t seem to last more than a year.
They start up a new one with a similar website design, and the cycle continues.
If you come across one not listed here, look for the following signs
Deals too good to be true.
Located in China (nothing against the Chinese. I’m Asian myself).
Only accepts Western Union or Money Mart type of service and bank transfer as a payment.
They are getting more sophisticated now, at least on the surface. The new guys could be African or Russian and they even register the company in UK — I’m guessing there is an exploitable aspect to UK’s company registry — to make themselves look legit. They also put credit card logos and Paypal logo on their sites, but will not often accept them once you actually try to checkout. These are hard to verify as scam.
When you come across an unknown store, first remember how you got there. If you got there via email ad (spam; and I’d even be suspicious of Facebook and Craigslist ads), then there’s your first sign.
Second, if the prices are much lower than other vendors, be suspicious. Especially, Apple products will not be sold at a deep discount no matter what.
Third, try calling them or check out their address on Google Map Street View to see if you can see their physical store/office.
You can also search the address on any search engine to see if that address belongs to someone else.
If you want to report a site, leave a comment below.
* If you’re looking for a legitimate drop-shipper, I can recommend you one that I know. Try Doba. If you sign up via this link, you get a 14 day free trial instead of 7 days.
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