Monday, December 23, 2013

SCAMMED -- Almost!

by Kate Collins

Recipe for a scam:

1 woman who loves fine purses
1 website purporting to be Louis Vuitton
1 GIGANTIC sale at said website

Mix together and cook for one hour. Serves: no one.

Luckily for me, my mystery radar was tripped before I hit the Buy button or I would have been out a lot of money. All I lost was an hour's worth of time and suffered a bruised ego.

I had been wishing for a Louis Vuitton purse for awhile now, but couldn't bear to part with over a thousand dollars to buy one when I already have lovely bags. But a woman can dream, can't she?

So when an email appeared in my inbox yesterday purporting to be from Lois Vuitton, my eyeballs widened. Was it meant to be? Could it be a Christmas gift to me? And what a sale! Certain bags were 80% off, end of year clearance.

So I poured over the choices and finally narrowed it down to just the right style, size, color, etc. I went to checkout and carefully made sure there was a Verisign notice. Well, it wasn't Verisign, but something European, and since LV is French, I figured it was international. Maybe it really is. I'll never know now.

Something made me take it a step further. I went to the link that said "About Us" and started reading. It seemed legit except that the phrasing was off. In my head, I could hear the French accent coming through. But would an amazingly sophisticated company like LV not have the best website available?

Next I typed in and got a completely different site, a gorgeous site, that had no strange phrasing, but did have a warning that they sell their merchandise only through stores and through that very site. That was it!

I then Googled the other website and it came up in a scam page. Turns out, the website is a mere 24 days old and already has had complaints.

Whew! I dodged a bullet and relearned a big lesson. When it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Have you ever been the victim of a scam? Or almost were?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!