This section is still being worked on!
The point is trying to stop people from being scammed. As much as we want to get the scammers to stop scamming people, and that they will end up in the place where scammers belong (prison), the first goal and hope is that people will realize what these sites (etc) are, and that they will they think both twice and thrice before they “buy” from these sites.
It may sound a bit hypocritical to not have any “real world” contact information, or who the people behind the site are, on here, but there are several reasons to why (and to consider why it’s not as a big issue why that info is missing here, compared to a store):
- We are dealing with scammers: People (criminals) who don’t have any issue with fooling people, and taking their money.
It’s NEVER a good idea to give out your information to scammers (even in the attempt to combat them)!
For the safety for ourselves and our families, we will not share any information that can lead to any of our real identities.
- This isn’t about us, it’s about the scammers. And it’s not we that give the information given on this site it’s credibility, and that’s nothing that we as “real people” can do. The credibility of the information comes from the connections and correlations between them.
- We are NOT trying to take your money, or sell you something.
Any site/person/business that is asking for money (or trying to sell you something) should also (be able to) give you their information, such as: Business name (and Business ID/Number), Location and post address, contact details, etc.
(As a side note: The cost of running this site comes from our own pockets, so we are actually loosing money to run this site. But we think the goal of the site is worth it!)
Many of the accounts used to post images from supposed customers are fake accounts, others might be people who work for the scammers, so you might wonder why we protect them.
One answer is that we are trying to comply with GDPR, so we are not listing (or storing) any personal information (such as names and photos), and all screenshots gets anonymized.
And even if many of the accounts are fake (so there is no real person behind the profile), some accounts might be stolen/”hacked” (and used without the actual persons knowledge). Some accounts might also share the name of someone else, that has nothing to do with it, and we will not risk that someone completely unrelated to the scam gets accused for something they didn’t do!
If your site has been added to our collection it’s because that your site matches some or all of our criteria for what denotes a scam site (you can find more about the criteria in our How to spot a scam section). The most prominent among those are: The use of stolen material, and The lack, or inconsistence, of some information.
Even if the site “is not a scam”, those issues are signs of bad business practices. A site/business that uses e.g. stolen images in their advertisements, stores, etc, can’t be trusted (and to be frank: shouldn’t be in a business) to be serious in their business transactions (this goes for small businesses as well as big..).
If you want us to remove your site from our collection, then feel free to contact us, but be aware that there are several things you will need to do and provide us with:
- Some kind of proof of ownership of the site (exactly what kind can be discussed).
- A reason to why your site fits the “profile of a scam” (uses stolen images, missing information, etc).
- Update/add any conflicting/missing information
- Removal of any material used without consent of the original author.
So far we haven’t had any responses (On Facebook or on this site) from the pages/sites that we have called out for scamming. And we have left comments on several of these ads (up towards 100 ads.. More than what’s shown on this site). As soon as we get a response we will, probably, post about it.
We (as in our Facebook page, that we use to comment on these ads) have, however, been blocked by (at least) one Facebook page, to stop us from leaving more comments (not that it will stop us though).
One might think that it would be in their best interest to respond, and defend themselves, when someone calls them “scammers”. But these sites doesn’t seem to think so, and there might be several reasons as to why:
- Most of these ads (and sites) may be posted, more or less, by bots. So there aren’t really any real people behind to respond. Or there are just a couple of people posting these ads etc manually, with either no time to respond, or they are instructed to only setup sites and post ads.
Our reasoning behind this scenario is simply that in many cases there are no respond, at all, to the comments (including comments asking about shipping, price, etc). There are however some instances where they have responded to comments, but usually either it’s obvious “copy-pasta”, or short/minimal effort comments like “Yes”, “No” (and often in broken English*). Sometimes they turn off commenting (perhaps after they’ve been called scammers a couple of times), or they apparently stop responding (both seems to happen within 1-2 days, sometimes just within a couple of hours).
- They think that by responding to the the comments calling them scammers they bring more people’s eyes to those comments, and that more people will think (rightfully) that they are scammers.
- If they respond to comments calling them out for scamming they “can’t” hide those comments** (something that happens occasionally), as their response would be hidden as well, so a comment calling them out for scamming will still be visible in the comment section.
*We don’t fault or judge people for their broken English, but it might still be an noteworthy, especially when it comes to customer supports etc.
** Hiding comments is an option that advertisers can do on their ads on Facebook. We see how it can be useful in some instances, but it also have some negative consequences.
We can never be 100% sure, but that’s true for anything in life. How sure can a person be that their parents actually are their real parents, how can a person be sure that their mom isn’t a foreign spy (or maybe a lizard person).
These examples are of course a bit contrived, but the point still stands: To be 100% sure is almost impossible (without giving them money and see what happens, but even then there is some uncertainty).
But we work on the basis of “If it looks like a duck, walks like a quack, and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck”.
And several of the criteria we have should never apply to any serious business (like using stolen material, or have inconsistent/missing information).
First: take a look on our page on How to spot a scam. Then try searching for the site in a search engine, if the site has been around for a while it’s likely that people have talked about it somewhere.
If you still want to chance it (which we don’t recommend, since we think it’s better to spend that money in a store that’s trustworthy and not “shady”, or donate it to a good cause!), treat it like gambling (with pretty bad odds): Only spend money that you are willing (and able) to part with, and do it with the knowledge that you probably won’t get what you hope for!
If you believe that you’ve been scammed you should start with contacting the payment service you used (like PayPal), if it was on a “online market site” (like E-bay) contact them. Both Paypal and E-bay, usually, are pretty good when it comes to refunds etc for scams. You could also contact your bank/card issuer, and they might be able to help you.
The next step could be to contact the police, but depending on where you live, and where the scammers are located, there might not be much that they could do about it.