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Online Shopping Scam - FASH or FAKE SHOP - Gets Busted

2/04/2012 10:31:00 AM Chai Chen 3 Comments

I'm OC when it comes to documentations. I guess it runs in the blood ...

And while it may have some not-so-good implications at times, it helps me in the long run. And it did help me get my refund from a recent online purchase I had, which turned out to be a scam. I had doubts but a few points in online shopping; I know I surely missed. It pays to be extra careful indeed ... and it pays to be a wise buyer.

So, I found myself shopping for jackets and cardigans recently because of my day to day needs at work anyway. It's a fashion-must-have I guess though it's not entirely what you need to survive in your daily attire. It's a basic piece nowadays and it goes along well with any other outfit. Being in a corporate environment where power dressing is a need as well, I know cardigan's wouldn't go wrong. I found this neat piece of cardigan from an online shop called the FASH SHOP - It turned out to be a FAKE SHOP I guess.

Silly me, I fell victim to this. LOL. But I'm glad to have resolved this and I'm sharing this to all online shoppers out there ... hope this helps!

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I was doubtful at first because the site had very minimal comments on the product listing or on each item they're selling. There's also not much items being sold. It seems pretty enticing and the method to buy seems pretty legit. They offer bank deposit, credit card payment if I'm not mistaken, gcash, and Paypal. I guess it's best to choose Paypal at all times since you know you'll be secured with your purchases. So I opted for that.

I immediately completed the transaction using the BUY NOW option from Multiply. I've been buying from the site and I've always bought from trusted buyers (like Asianvogue) only or contacts. If not, I make sure that there's some credibility in it (i.e. feedback, shipping details, past transactions, etc.)

This FASH SHOP thingie had some of it anyway. I gave it the benefit of the doubt that they or he or she is just a starting seller. I understand that. I've had my startup experiences as well when I sold some items at ebay.

Their shipper details somehow attest to this anyway. The site had a XEND badge and I trust XEND since I use the same service for my ebay items and most of the sellers I buy from are using the same courier / shipping service. With that, I pushed through with my purchase. After all, that cardigan is surely a grab. I see it mostly in tiangge's I visit but I never cared to buy ... I dunno why. I guess it looks much better in online shop photos eh? LOLZ. I think it costs just around P350 to P450 in flee market shops. But WTH??? I saved on the hassle anyway in traveling and walking around to shop. Heheh.

And so, I patiently waited for the seller to contact me and/or ship my purchase. The week has passed though (7 days in normal week count? LOL). I didn't get anything - no item, no text message, no PM no nada!!! The seller just went kaput? I was kind enough though. So I just posted a reply on the actual item I bought. I wasn't satisfied so I sent a PM to the seller as well.

I did not get satisfied ...

I tried to browse the site once more and now, there are no more comments / feedback nor anything else available. The site showed a disclaimer - under maintenance on the side as well. Something fishy ei?

With that, I reported abuse / reported user to Multiply.
All of a sudden, there are no more ways to contact the seller than to send a PM which I already did. Tricky huh?

I am not certain how fast the Multiply team takes action on such so I took my actions as well. I filed a dispute via Paypal for this concern. Not too much boo-hoos anymore ... just straightforward complaint.

Come the next day, I immediately got feedback from the Paypal Team though it's merely a suggestion to contact the seller. I replied that there's no more ways to contact the seller. I provided them with all the screenshots and links necessary. I tried to contact the seller via PM and from the Multiply order trail but to no avail. And after another day, Paypal Resolution Center alerted me that I can file my dispute to a claim. I immediately did.

The Multiply Team did provide feedback to me though ...


My dispute does get the attention it deserves. Despite the measly amount I disputed, their team did not falter in providing feedback to me. And the day, right after I escalated my issue as a claim, somebody from Multiply contacted me and advised that I will get a refund of my purchase instead.

I checked the shop and it appears like there's something goin' on ...

The seller's items do not show up anymore.

The option to add as contact is no longer available as well. With that, and since the Multiply team had contacted me anyway, I advised and they told me that the site is already under investigation.

I just want to say thank you to Paypal and Multiply for the speedy action & resolution for my case. I already got the reversal of the amount and it is now posted on my account. It took only two (2) business days for them to resolve this and I didn't have to wait too long just to get feedback at least. I am a satisfied user for those 2 sites!

Lessons Learned???

Well, again, be extra careful when buying items online. While some startup shops may have the same situation (less to no feedback yet, few items, etc.); it doesn't mean they're already a scam. However, when they do not communicate or if there's too less of ways to contact them, be suspicious already.

Always keep your self informed as well, as a buyer. Know your rights and how you can fight back. It is tedious to document but it pays you big time when needed. Just like how it served me.

As much as possible, buy only from trusted sites. Do not trust all online shops.

Do not buy too expensive items online ... if you don't get them back, you'll end up crying big time haha. The thrifty buyer in me kept it at a minimum. So if I lost that P580 ... I guess it's ok. It's not too big ... it's not too small of an amount. It's a risk, I know. I just took it!

Keep your transactions secured. Pay only thru acceptable safe means like Paypal. At least you'll know you are protected by using their services, like what happened to me. I got my refund, thanks to Paypal!

Study the terms and conditions of the sites you use. For example, in Paypal. I know than tangible items can be refunded so this one is a sure win. But how about intangible items? What are the terms (ex. airline tickets?) and how can you be protected? For Multiply, how do you get protected from scammers? Etc.

And always remember, fight for your rights. Speak out. Voice out. And do not keep mum on scams like this. I just did. If the seller tries to get back at me for posting this (since they have visibility on my contact infos and address by now), WTH? I got the whole world at my back now, right? It's best to expose such scams than wallow in wilderness.



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