Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Beware of Scams!

     I hurried to write this post because I nearly just fell into a scam trap myself. Then I remembered how this isn't the first time, and how some people I know have been tricked as well. So I'm writing this post as a caution to my readers to beware of the many scams out there. If you're not sure, better safe than sorry, and STAY AWAY from it.

     The one I nearly fell into caught my eye with an ad off of Facebook. I'm normally weary of clicking on ads because they are notorious for giving viruses and spam. This one was about shoes (JustFab.com), and well, I have a hard time resisting. The site promises to give you personalized style recommendations based on your preferences and you can get a pair of shoes for $39.95. This particular ad stated that it was having a special promotion- buy one get one free. Two pairs of shoes for that price is not a bad deal- and the heels looked hot. I was curious about the brands though (if there even is any) and clicked to find out more. I wanted to browse through shoes, but the site didn't really let you do much browsing. Instead it hurried and encouraged you to fill out their quiz and sign up. I was tempted, just to see their recommendations, but a couple red flags had been raised.

1) It's an ad off a site- you always have to beware when clicking ads. There are some to sites like overstock.com or Zappos which are ok, but the majority are not leading you to anything useful.

2) It wouldn't let me see much of the products without signing up.

     The second provided the major red flag. So I did what I always do (and what you can do) to safeguard. I Googled. This may sound stupid, but it's really smart. Any really good reputable site will have at least a few posts about it. The posts for this site were all from some style blog or other. THIRD RED FLAG.
     When doing basic research for a paper, they tell you to find a reputable source that isn't Billy Bob Joe's blog. In this case you want the OPPOSITE. We're looking for feedback from the average person. The more people blog about it, the better. This site didn't even produce ONE blog post. Alarm bells were going off in my head at this point.

     Then I stumbled upon this: http://www.scambook.com/blog/2011/10/justfab-com-justfabulous-class-action-lawsuit/.

     It's a post saying that these people are being sued. For what? For scamming people of their money! They tell you it's free to join, then send you a 50% off coupon (supposedly one day only) to get you to hurry and purchase a pair of shoes. If you don't buy the first day, they keep spamming you with this one day only 50% off promotion. THEN, when you finally do submit payment information, it ALSO sets you in an enrollment program that bills you monthly- all without telling you.

*Well now, they have a blurb on their front page about this, but the site and concept is just too shady for me. It seems like they're trying to get your money.

"JustFabulous is a monthly membership program. Once you make your first purchase, your membership is automatically upgraded to VIP status.

Upon becoming a JustFabulous VIP, you must take action by the 5th of every month by making a purchase or choosing to Skip The Month. If you do not take action by the 5th, your account will be charged $39.95 on the 6th of the month. This becomes one free credit that you may redeem for the $39.95 item of your choice at any time.*"

*= some specialty items excluded. (what if they're all specialty items -___-)

So if you forget to "Skip the Month" You'll get charged. 

     Now, could these class action lawsuit documents be faked? who knows. BUT, one thing I know, I'm staying away!

Especially be ware when their price is much lower than the competition's I know people who've been suckered in for a cheaper ipad/ ereader case even (they pay and product never arrives). My grandfather was a victim of swindling of the more personal kind as well. People would tell him they had fallen on hard times and were about to lose their house so could he help out. He'd help them out with a little and they'd never return the money. Turns out, they never had such an issue.

Stay safe, and Happy Valentine's Day! ^^

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