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Some online deals charge but don’t deliver

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Lots of people like to shop online. It's easy and sometimes faster than finding what you want at the local mall. With just a few clicks, your order is processed and your purchase could be on your doorstep the next day. That is, unless you clicked on an ad that was really a scam. 

Online ads that offer deals on luxury items at low prices can be part of a scheme to take your money and give you nothing in return. Scammers falsely use well-known name brands in their ads for clothing, shoes, online games, and other expensive items to entice you. Scammers know that people looking for a good deal may be tempted to click on their links. But if you know how to spot online shopping scams, you can avoid losing your money — and more.

If you like to shop online, keep these tip-offs to rip-offs in mind:

  • Anyone can set up an online shop. So before you place an order online, confirm that the shop has a physical address and a phone number where you can reach someone if you have problems with your order.
  • Scammers often offer luxury brands at ridiculously low prices to trick you. 
  • Clicking on pop-up ads can download viruses, spyware, malware, and other unwanted software to your computer. It’s best to avoid them. 
  • If the seller requires payment through a wire transfer or by you giving them numbers off a gift card or prepaid card, that’s a scam. Legitimate sellers won’t restrict payment to those methods.

For more tips, visit our Shopping & Saving page. While you’re at it, sign up for our scam alerts to help you recognize and report scams and frauds.

Tagged with: online fraud, shopping
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


this makes sense

On April 9, 2017 I ordered "free samples" of Nuvella skin care products - "just pay shipping". I received order confirmation that a charge for $7.69 and $5.79 would be processed on my master card. Subsequently I received only one very small sample tube of the cream. While reviewing my bank statement today I see that I was charged $131.01 from a company called Greatproteinhelp. com and $140.16 on April 27 from a company called Alphafbinfo. com. After some research I discovered that both these companies names are associated with Nuvella. I called the company to complain and ask for my money back and the man said that I had only paid for the shipping and the charges were now for the two creams (I only received one) that both fit into the palm of my hand. I said that I had not even tried the creams and that I was returning them and that I wanted a full refund on all charges. The customer service agent said that a refund was not possible because to much time had elapsed even though their web site says that product can be returned up to 30 days.

On March 1st I was emailed from rankbully. com that they have notable English bulldog puppies 50% off they were people feeding off of vulnerable people like myself saying if you send them $500 they’ll send you a puppy and it is all a plot to rob you I have contacted the police and working on ways to identify the thief’s behind this page because they use a false add no phone number no address be advised it happen to me don’t let it happen to you

I actually have Adblock Plus, so that I never even have to deal with ads. That's because stuff like this happens. Besides, if the deal was true, then it would be on the verified website, or if there's a promotional code, just write it down and put it in the cart processing. But yeah, I never even have to deal with ads. :>

Many thanks, again for valuable tips.

The greatest of these I found are survival sites AND gun sweepstakes. Offering free items and all you pay for is shipping. Then all I got was an open empty envelope that was never sealed.

Low cost deals on low cost items can also be scams. I got an email from "Brad's Deals" for replacement brushes for electric tooth brushes at about 60% off (at retail, the brushes can be expensive). Brad's Deals is not responsible for the validity of the advertisement. In fact, they indicate the percentage of orders that were successfully fulfilled on their website and often times the percentage of fulfilled orders is below 50%. The cost of my order was $12 and I never got the brushes. I wrote several times to the distributor of the deal on line, but never heard back (tried 3 times in writing, telephone would only go to offers for other products). So, the $12 didn't seem worth any further effort and became the price of learning about these "deals". Thanks for your continued alerts and valuable consumer information.

If the email was from Brad's deals, how are they not responsible? This makes no sense.

Because Brad's Deals is a third party -- they just give you what is the lowest price they have found online and if you buy the item you buy it from the retailer/wholesaler not from Brad's Deals.

While trying to locate a telephone number for a friend, I signed on to Spokeo. com. After giving all my credit information, I clicked on "get results now" but no results appeared. I attempted to contact them by email & got an automated reply that they would answer my email complaint within 12-24 hours. That was 3 days ago ad I have heard nothing from them.

You need to contact your bank ~ explaining to them exactly what happened and see if they can flag/stop any suspicious attempts to withdrae funds. Also, check your spam file for the Spokeo email.

Signing up on Spokeo is also a recurring monthly debit to your card. Make sure you cancel!

I so appreciate your tips. My elderly parents were scammed out of a small fortune!! This was before I started getting your report. Many thanks!!

Is that shatel and i dont trust to them

yes I was shopping with no more racks which changed to Choix and they owe me $79+dolllsrs

Try using more PSA on TV where a lot of the fraud is!!

I order a Groupon blanket and I picked out the photos for it, but I'm yet to receive it. I also ordered a phone charger that we didn't get!

The online company is dresslily. com. they operate under 12 different names. they use pictures from catalogs and if by a slim chance get an item it is a piece of garbage with rips and holes in the item. this is a scam company who takes your money and never delivers your item. they in my opinion are guilty of internet fraud.

Thanks for the warning on this one. I had seen their ads and wondered if they were legit.

Groupon took all the money I spent on restaurant vouchers. Never
crediting the original price payed for vouchers on restaurants that
closed. Groupon says they can terminate customers as they please.

Always check and google reviews for the name of the Store as well. In addition make sure when buying anything it always says https:// at top when buying anything on line. Oh and also type the address in search bar instead dont click links to get to any site. example type in Search bar etc. Hope this info helps.

Here are more tips to help you compare products when you shop online.

I stopped using Groupon because they do not vet the companies offering services and scammers know thay can get profit from hiding behind Groupon. Always check with BBB to confirm the company as legit....

Groupon has always given me credit back when I've had trouble with merchants, even if they've gone out of business and my Groupon was expired by a number of years.

Lucky, you reached a nice honest person. At one time an employee
credited my groupon bucks back. Wanted to purchase a second item but all my groupons were gone. Received an email saying all my groupons expired.

Major of time these products does not exist. They are scams. I do not order offline any more. I got scam for an order, but I cancel my credit card payment with my bank. They researched and it was a scam company with no products for sale. Beware as the warning came almost 50 some years ago. "Buyer Beware".

Be careful using the company listed on for dog supplies and medications. I bought some Omega3 oil capsules that almost killed my dog. Make sure you check out the advertisers with the BBB before shopping.

2or3 days ago I got a call from someone claiming to be from PUBLISHERS Clearing House. He asked if I remembered sending in a form to possibly win $5
Million $ I said yes and he started to tell me how lucky I was.Then he indicated that the IRS required a 1% payment before I could collect my winnings. My reply was that I wondered when he was going get to the SCAM part and he immediately hung up.

No only buying things, looking for a JOB. They send you a text saying that I got the position. Then later they ask you to give the information of my bank account. And you could see it was a scam. I gave wrong information in a different bank. It was fun to return them the game. Thanks for your information.

Yes, do look out for Pop-Up Ads and Pop-Up Warnings! I hate to admit that a Pop-Up Warning funneled me into calling a Tech. Service that turned out to be a scam. After charging services to my card, I found that RESOLVE SOLUTIONS was taking free programs and services and charging people for them. Plus after a few months, they would block your number from calling them. Luckily, the card company reimbursed me for their online fraud!

I also use Paypal to protect financial data.

If you paid with a credit card, work with your credit card company to get a refund.

My credit card company will not credit my account knowing the website is shutdown and no where to be found. Many people have the same problem with this scam on Facebook but the credit card company ignore my cam plaint.

Gamiss said they shipped my order on 12/5/16.It was for various clothing items.I can't get they to respond.... they gave me a ticket number that replaced the reference number that replaced the order number.Today is March 9,2017... Was it shipped from Jupiter... Gamiss is a SCAM...

Watch out for GoBedBath too..

We came SO close to being scammed on an apartment rental. The scammers took a home from an actual real estate company listing complete with photos, address, owners names, etc. and used the real listing to get all of your personal information and then said that you have to make a deposit of 1st month and security deposit and they will overnight you the keys (said he lives out of town). Thank goodness I caught it when they said to deposit the money to an account where the names didn't match up..after speaking with the police and FBI come to find out the MONEY WOULD HAVE BEEN WIRED TO PAKISTAN.

It's been all over FB. Says since Macy's stores are closing, they have make-up that they can't sell, so they have some you can order for just the cost of shipping. It was only $3.95. I checked all over their deal looking for other charges, or membership fees or whatever. There was nothing until I clicked to order. Then there were 2 items in my cart that I did not want. The order went through & arrived in 2 days. They took $3.95 + another $7.95 for a smaller item. Also a letter welcoming me to their "club" where I would be bilked monthly for a new box of make-up. I contacted their email immediately to cancel. They said they'd cancel, but to return the product & not be charged full price, I had to pay the return shipping. Now they have my debit# & i'm just waiting for all kinds of charges to show up. I have less than $100 in there, but it makes me so mad!

WARNING...DressLily is a fraudulent website designed for the sole purpose of stealing your card number and your email address. You'll NEVER receive the product you purchased. Not only do they advertise bogus, fake & substandard products, but once they obtain your card number from you, they'll make unauthorized, fraudulent charges, use one of your contact names stored in your email, then have their stolen products sent to some foreign address that you've never heard of. Afterwards, now that they've hacked in to your email, they will search for sensitive information, passwords, open accounts, etc... steal it and use it for their fraudulent purposes. In addition, they will also "STEALL-ALL-YOUR-CONTACTS" information, hack in to their emails, and do the same as they've done to you.

Kingston Jamaica is the hot bed of scammers. I get calls night and day from these creeps. Their latest is PCH I won millions of dollars and I go to Walmart and send them money. Now,they follow up with official looking contract by U.S. Mail from Kansas City Mo. all I have to do is verify the great seal on the back of a dollar bill and send 299.99 dollars. The Feds can't do anything about calls from Jamaica or the telephone company maybe Postal Service for fraud by mail?

On March 17,2017, I order a grandma bracelet from an add on facebook, from a Lot33. All I had to pay was shipping cost of $6.84. This company wasted no time charging my credit card the shipping cost and after numerous e-mail correspondence between myself and the company Lot 33, They then cancelled my order and will not refund my money... I have ordered like this before and received what I paid for.In fact after e-mailing them and telling them I was going to report them, they cancelled my order still not to receive a refund. This company is scamming people and I want to know how to get them and put a stop to it.

If you have a problem with goods or services you paid for with a credit or charge card, you can take the same legal actions against the card issuer as you can take under state law against the seller. For more information, please see the FTC publication, Disputing Credit Card Charges.

Sears yes Sears. . . Has credit for people that can't get credit cards. Mind you it is a scam. It's a company called Why Noy Lease It. They say you pay it all after 5 months. Which I did. But bc I didn't call them and say this is my final payment at the 5th month they kept charging me for 4 more months until I notice. I called and said I've now paid double for this item I think that we are squared up. They told me I owed them $200 to close the account bc I didn't call them on the 5th month. That's a SCAM! I had my bank take back 3 payments and I cancelled them from taking anymore money.

I've had my share of bad experiences, one was Facebook's TeeChip ad! Ordered a hoodie I thought was great for my son and for his birthday. Turns out, either package was stolen from the porch, or item was "lost" in limbo because it never reached him! So I was out $40+ dollars, and I even reported them to the BBB, and they couldn't even help! Lesson learned; those ads you see on Facebook? Don't click and order from them!

Maverick by Logan Paul took the nearly $70 from my bank within 24 hours of me placing the order. That was a month ago. I have not received any merchandise from them. Every time I email them, they respond with the standard message indicating merchandise ships 10-14 business days. I have demanded refund, just get standard reply. What legitimate company takes money without shipment of merchandise. Total rip off!

This scammer threw a pop-up while I was shopping on Amazon, offering a choice of goods for only the shipping cost, paid with my debit card. They plan to charge me hundreds later without warning, but I cancelled my card after reading of other victims on-line. They seemed like Amazon 3rd party vendors, but are scammers.

Exactly what happened to me...Be aware of POP UPS when you are shopping Amazon

I am a self employed artist and I was approached by this supposed publishing company and told my work had been selected for inclusion in the 'International Contemporary Artists of 2017' publication. I was dubious, but they appeared to be genuine, so I sent them €150 via the PayPal account and invoice they emailed me. This was in December 2016. I was told by a 'Julia Adison' that the publication would come out in July 2017. When I emailed this 'Julia' in June this year to enquire about the publishing date, I was then told that the publication will definitely come out at the end of September 2017. (I did question 'Julia' several times in email exchanges, of my growing concerns about the legitimacy of this supposed publication as I had since contacted a few galleries that they claimed to supply the previous publications to and one had replied to me to say they had demanded to have their gallery name removed from the supposed company.)

This 'Julia Adison' was always very prompt about responding and kept assuring me that I would see this year publication by the end of September 2017.... Needless to say I have not seen anything and have had no more responses to my emails AND the website appears to have been removed!

I purchased from a site called Prettysmartly, who promised to deliver a foundation garment within 4-6 weeks, after 4 weeks I enquired and they told me it was on the way. 9 weeks later still no delivery. On Facebook I found some comments about the non delivery from this company, that they claim it's a problem with our local 'post office'. Clearly untrue, because they claim to have a tracking number but don't provide it to the customer!!! Don't buy from this company, they are advertising everywhere.

You can report this to the FTC at The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

I was looking to make a purchase of a Yeti Brand Cooler. I found a web-site "carlosplace. info' that said they deal in Yeti coolers at whole sale prices. I contacted Mohammed Hassan, and he said that I should wire money via western union to him in Houston Texas. His store is supposedly located in Houston, so I fell for the scam. I wired $200 in cash, and in order for me to receive my order, I was told that I need to pay additional money.
Needless to say, I have not received my cooler and Mohammed Hassan isn't responding to my emails or phone calls.


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