Why does this online shopping scam send the wrong items?

Why does this online shopping scam send the wrong items?

By Greg Collier

Most shoppers are always looking for a good bargain. No one wants to pay more money than they have to. Sometimes we see a bargain that’s so tempting it’s almost impossible to pass up, and we forget the golden rule of online shopping. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. That’s what online scammers are hoping anyway. These scammers set up legitimate-looking websites that pretend to sell items at cut rate prices. However, what you order isn’t always what you get.

For example, a man in Tennessee wanted to buy a greenhouse for his wife’s garden. The advertised price of the greenhouse was around $25. Comparable greenhouses typically go for around $150-$200. That’s a price cut of over 85%. Instead of getting a greenhouse, he was shipped a pair of gardening gloves that probably cost less than a dollar to produce.

Similarly, a woman from Ohio ordered a space heater from one of these scam websites. The item was 1/3 the price than it was on Amazon. She even did her research to make sure that the website was based in the US and not overseas. Her research showed that the website was based in Marietta, Georgia. So she ordered the heater and received a straw hat instead.

The scammers send these cheap items instead of the actual goods to fight order disputes. When the victim tries to dispute the charges, the scammers just say that an item was delivered. For too many payment processors, this is a good enough reason to rule in the scammer’s favor. You might be able to fight the charges if you used a credit card, but if you used a debit card or a payment service like PayPal, there’s a good chance you’ll never see that money again.