I recently wrote about new Dewalt Tools store scams. Soon after, a reader (thank you Jim!) sent in some screenshots of another type of scam they came across on Facebook.
With minimal searching, I came across the same ad myself. This scam posting is quite a bit different from the other fake tool store deal ads I’ve seen
The ad here features a photo of a Milwaukee tool storage combo, and given the background details, it seems to have been taken at a real Home Depot store location. In the photo, the price tag has been doctored to read $98.
Note: The ad and fake storefront has nothing to do with Home Depot. Basically, the scammer is using imagery of a Home Depot display to create their false narrative and the suggestion of credibility.
The ad copy says:
Due to the epidemic, the toolboxs we have accumulated will be sold at a low price for a limited time while stocks last.
Time is limited, if necessary, please buy as soon as possible.
If you actually look at the profile, this is what it says in the fake scam retailer’s profile:
[Scam Store] aims to be exciting and innovative, offering our customers the fashions they want. Our target audiences are women aged 18-35 who are zealous fashion lovers. We mainly sell high-quality blouses to European and American customers
This is a women’s fashion store that started selling Milwaukee tool boxes for far less than it would even cost to ship one? No. It’s a lazy scammer that reuses the same code and copy across multiple scam storefronts.
Looking the website’s WHOIS information (via https://lookup.icann.org/), it says:
Created: 2021-06-25 02:56:15 UTC
This is a new website that just launched weeks ago, a major red flag.
I took a look at the website, to see if there are any trends to pick up on.
At the top, it says:
This site cooperates with PayPal. Each Customer can only buy one product Anniversary Celebration. Come in while stocks last.
As with the “only 4 left in stock” mention in the sponsored ad, they create a false sense of urgency. Sometimes you might see a countdown timer as well. Limited time or limited quantities trigger an “oh no, if I don’t hurry I could miss out” response, which leads too many shoppers to lower their guard.
When you look at the website itself, it’s obvious they copy-pasted Harbor Freight ad copy.
They simply grabbed some webpage elements from Harbor Freight, changed some things around, and left it at that.
The fake store has listings for Milwaukee tool storage products, as well as Extreme Tools, Husky, and Gearwrench.
Before anyone says “of course that’s fake, anyone could spot it from a mile away,” no, not everyone can.
There are 3 types of responses to fake and scam store listings like this:
- Totally fake, I’m not falling for it.
- I want this to be real, could it be?
- Wow, the tool deal of a lifetime!
There are going to be some shoppers that fall for these scam listings right away, but also a large group of people who want the deal to be true. “What the worst that could happen?” someone might ask as they type in their credit card or other payment information details.
Don’t give fake stores like this your personal and financial information! Even if you use a payment method that offers you some protections or guarantees, there are always risks.
The Concerning Trend
Fake stores and scam listings aren’t new, but scammers’ strategies have been changing. For instance, scammers have started impersonating legitimate tool brands, and the fake storefronts can be convincing.
It seems to have taken Ryobi a few weeks to shut down a fake store that used their brand name in the URL.
One of the fake Dewalt Tool stores I wrote about the other day has already been shut down, but at least two more have taken their place.
The approach discussed in this post is a bit different, as it involves a combination of efforts – altered images of actual tool deals and displays from real stores, along with increasingly realistic-looking websites.
A lot of people are falling for these tool deal scams. Even more concerning, scammers could be even more effective if they weren’t so lazy.