Regular readers might be growing tired of these scam alert posts, but I feel compelled to share them as new trends and patterns pop up.
A new scam store popped up with just 2 product listings – one for a Dewalt cordless power tool combo kit, and one for a YETI cooler. Maybe they figure that they’re targeting similar audiences?
A quick search turned up more scam listings for YETI coolers.
If you look at YETI products on Amazon and elsewhere, their hard coolers are all somewhat pricey, in the several-hundred dollar range. The wheeled Tundra Haul cooler shown above typically retails for $400.
New scam store listings are advertising it for just $89 with free shipping.
The scam store makes a convincing appearance too, except for the “drums” heading. Fitness products, outdoor sports, coolers, and… drums?
Still, at first glance it looks like your average online store.
This particular store has a USA address – no doubt fake or taken from a real store somewhere, and generic “about us” and FAQ pages. There are no social media accounts.
When you enter the domain, e.g. scamstore.com into a WHOIS lookup (https://lookup.icann.org/), it says:
Created: 2021-08-14 08:21:11 UTC
In other words, this store has all the signs of a fly-by-night scam operation. Do NOT give them your money, personal shipping details, or any attention.
The only way to protect yourself against these scam stores is to be aware of the signs, patterns, and red flags.
The adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it probable is” definitely applies here. Many scam stores use different psychological tricks to persuade consumers to make rushed and emotional purchases, such as with countdown timers and notices of limited stock to create a false sense of urgency.
Now, there is an increasing and alarming trend of scam stores that look real, especially so on mobile devices.
Here are some red flags:
- Very new or recent web domain (via registry lookup)
- Unbelievably low price
- No social media accounts
- No phone number to call
- “About” and info pages sound are badly written
- Odd product category pairings
Of course, there’s no proof yet that this “store” is a scam, but how many newly created online stores are really offering 75% discounts on YETI coolers, drums, and fitness equipment?
You have to be extremely diligent. I found one “store” that has all but one of the red flags, as it was registered two years ago and even has some online reviews at 3rd party websites. They have the YETI cooler even cheaper, for $89. But, just because its domain has some age to it, that doesn’t mean it’s not a scam.
I’m sorry, but you’re not getting a YETI cooler for 78% off.