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.
Protect Yourself From Tool Deal Scams
Is it a Scam? Tips for Assessing Unfamiliar Online Tool Stores
Super Low-Priced Cordless Power Tool Deals Might be Scam
Beware of Dewalt and Milwaukee Cordless Power Tool Scams
Other Fake Tool Store News
Don’t Fall for This Ryobi Tools Scam Store
The Dewalt Tools Store is a SCAM
“Before anyone says “of course that’s fake, anyone could spot it from a mile away,” no, not everyone can.”
“Even more concerning, scammers could be even more effective if they weren’t so lazy.”
It’s not necessarily laziness. I believe the degree to which this is obviously a scam is intentional – intended to weed out all but the most gullible among us. This decreases the likelihood that this and future fraudulent charges will be challenged, allowing the scammer to fly under the radar even longer, and maximize their return on investment.
You’re right, because there’s a name for it coined by two economists; it’s called the self-weeding lawn principle. The idea is exactly what you said. If you make it too convincing, you’ll risk having a lot of victims back out at the last moment. If you make it somewhat obvious, the people stupid enough to fall for it from the start will likely see it through to the end. This argument was based more on email fishing scams because it required the person who built the scam to invest time in communicating with potential victims. It’s not quite as relevant for websites, because ultimately if you complete the transaction or not, no time was gained or lost on the scammers end. I think it’s a lot more likely that they’re just playing the odds, because I doubt a fake tools website is the only game they’re running. I think they just make it convincing enough to hook some of the less-adept shoppers before it’s taken down. Why put all this time into making a very convincing fake when you know it will likely be removed soon after. Call it flying under the radar just long enough to make a few bucks before it’s taken down. On another note, if they had the skills to build a website that looked perfect, they probably wouldn’t need to be scamming people in the first place.
I think you’re 100% right about scammers playing the odds. It’s just like Email scams. Most people spot them right away, but if even if just one person in a million bites the scam still works given how easy it is to send bulk messages or get bulk pageviews. It’s about casting a wide net and playing the numbers, not trying to make the perfect foolproof scam that withstands scrutiny.
Yeah unfortunately I think we’re just proving that these scam pages are here to stay. If all you have to do is cast a dragnet, even if it’s not a very good dragnet, you still catch a few of the dull fish – so why would they stop? No matter how much attention you bring to it, I’d be willing to wager there’s still always going to be that group of people that will fall for it.
Brevette Pfc. Billy Masterson
Got the scam email today, 3/6/23.
Knew instantly it was BS, NO WAY IN HE11 IT COULD BE A LEGITIMATE OFFER OF A FREE MULTI HUNDRED $ ITEM + EXPENSIVE HIGH VOLUME/WEIGHT ITEM SHIPPING. If it’s too good to be true, it ain’t true. Even a FISH would never be caught if it kept it’s mouth shut… etc. Etc. Etc….
Stupid f’in spammers looking for stupid f’in people to give away their personal info or whatever. F’em all.
I like to go on Pinterest when they have tools, they have cool stuff you can build. I was looking one day and saw an advertising for a Last day sale on a 5-in-1 Handheld laser welding machine , 50% off, $27.99 what a deal, SCAM, sold by Jacoobss, I looked it up deff a scam , buyers be ware, not verifiable They are still trying to sell this item and it has been several weeks on last day, It is like the man who had one of the two mules that pulled Martin Luther to grave site for sale, he always had one more of the ” one of the two mules for sale “
I am also still curious about the ongoing trend, year after year, as I have commented with once or twice before, that these fake listings seem to piggyback onto legitimate web store fronts, like fashion stores, etc. and am left wondering ( I never dug through on any of my scam finds, only reported to Google and tool brand) if those stores are legit at all and they fell victim to some hacking or exploit; or if those are fake clothing or home goods stores too.
I think that the scams follow trends, and that the fashion store framework is simply residual from a prior name/category change.
Or they could simply be incomplete adaptions of a basic web store template.
Yes, there are a ton of this type of ad scam popping up on Facebook. The big one I’ve reported several times is claiming to sell overstock Honda generators for $79 🙄
I embarrassed to admit I got scammed for $35 last year from an ad claiming to be selling Keen boots. It was exactly like you wrote about where they sent me a fake tracking number that was completely invalid when used for tracking purpose. I feel fortunate I was only out 35 bucks. You can believe I am much more skeptical now. 🧐
The photo and listing reads $98, not $99 per your post. Gotta pay attention to the details, especially concerning scammers. In all seriousness, it’s good to remind people of the too good to be true adage.
Sorry – *fixed!*
These scam warnings have been very helpful.
Then there are some legit websites that look like total scams due to the owners not wanting to spend money on an actual web developer/designer.
Quite a few tool distributors and manufacturers websites have that issue.
When are people just going to stay off Facebook all together? It is responsible for fake scams, fake news, lies, and everything else. Facebook is not a place to get news not anymore if it ever was.
Hi yes Facebook I ordered a Lews March reel guess from China fir $29.99 never received it. I will never order anything off of Facebook. I learned my lesson.
Google shopping – Milwaukee High Capacity 36 in. 12-Drawer Tool Chest and Cabinet Combo, Red $99.
office address is listed as Portland, OR; area code is for California. ICANN comes back as Chinese technology info development company
About the company from the website: “Founded in 2020, solnhof emerged during the challenging times of the Coronavirus pandemic. The British brands vision was to bring travel lovers together in the awake of the travel industry. The styles at solnhof offer women the chance to feel confident, sexy and carefree on the beach. Take pride in your body inside and out by indulging in luxurious fabrics, one off prints and figure flattering fits for all body shapes at a modest price. Slow fashion is promoted at solnhof by providing timeless pieces that can last you through multiple trips and memories to treasure.”
Anyone order from https://www.vevor.com/ Hard to tell if this one is legit or not.
I live by a few sayings: “If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.”, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”, and “Don’t worry, be happy.”
[redacted] And [redacted]
Are the ones I came across today I almost fell for it but because I felt victim to another scam trying to buy a game system for my son I’ve become more leery and more diligent about purchasing things through this style of online advertising. I try to check with the better Business bureau and try to backtrack through the URLs to find who they are. I was lucky because the money that I purchased the game system with was refunded by my bank I suggest anyone that is going to purchase anything online do it through your credit card or any bank that has a guaranteed purchase protection program but still make sure you do diligently do your homework first. I feel real good about being able to thort there attempt at scamming me as I’m a single parent combat veteran on disability so I’m on a limited income as it is. I was so livid it myself for falling for the one with the game system cuz it was for my 9-year-old’s birthday and being a scam it obviously it did not come on time but it also reduced my ability to get him anything else as I lost the money at time of purchase. God bless you and be safe!
Oh I forgot to add another thing that you can do that I found quite reliable is search the site for an address for their business. I did that with both [redacted] and [redacted]
And on both websites I could not find any physical address and also the contact information is very vague which is another red flag if it’s hard to contact them there’s a reason why. I did read some replies though where they did find a physical address but the addresses were not accurate. Through investigation they found that the address was for a particular State however the ZIP code was for a different state. Anyway I hope this helps! you guys be careful and be safe
I have always found the verbiage to be the biggest tip off for fake anything on the web. Misspellings that would be picked up by spell check like “toolboxs” is a red flag. Then the syntax of the sentence, the way it is worded is odd. “We have accumulated,” have you ever heard a store talk like this? “If you find it necessary,” American advertisers don’t use this type of jargon. “While stocks last,” again, the wrong wording for an American ear. I’ll wager that these scammers aren’t American and English is not their first language. I am often amused by Amazon descriptions for this same reason where it is clearly a direct translation from Chinese. The sentence structure works, but it is not how we speak.
I ran across a tool box scam just the other day . They all seem have around the same prices . I found it on a website called [redacted] . When you go to the website at the top it show Amazon . I emailed them and still no answer . If it seems to be good to be true it probably is !
I have received close to 10 text messages in the past 3 days that says I am a valued customer at Home Depot and was getting a Craftsman tool shed. Then of course came the completely original line saying…All you have to do is answer a few short questions. I always thought Home Depot would be way more creative. I checked into it and of course——SCAM !!! I sure hope nobody falls for it.
Steve Adams ( fool )
I got an e mail saying I had won this Milwaukee Tool box all I had to do was answer survey, I did it was about Walmart it then said I had to pay shipping, I stupidly did, then a day or so I saw a $120.25 charge from Texas, a Mirrored Shelf, I called the # on bank statement and was told it was for a chance to win a tool box , I said to cancel and refund money, I was told they could return 1/3 of money I said it was false advertising and a scam and he said he would return 50 percent using his discount card, I was a fool but he did send e mail showing $60.12 back on my card. Not sure if that will happen. It was too good to be true
Contact your credit card company and speak with their fraud or dispute department.
They might also advise you to change your credit card number.