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Scam warning: fake Clarks Shoes websites

We’ve been made aware of fake adverts for Clarks Shoes circulating on Facebook. Here’s what you need to keep an eye out for to avoid being scammed.

Update: 15/06/2020

Despite our warnings, these fake Clarks adverts keep popping up on Facebook.

We continue to report them and, fortunately, we’ve been able to get Facebook to block another scam site from its platform. A spokesperson told us:

“Fraudulent activity is not tolerated on our platforms and we have blocked this website. We urge people to continue to report any suspicious posts or ads to us.

To help with this, we have created a dedicated Facebook scam ads reporting tool in the UK so people can directly report scams as soon as they see them. We have also donated £3 million to Citizens’ Advice to help consumers avoid scams”

We’ll continue to monitor fake adverts appearing on Facebook, and report them as soon as we spot them.

Fake Clarks adverts: 04/03/2020

Thanks to a previous Which? Conversation regarding fake adverts for luxury shoe shop Russell & Bromley, we’ve been made aware of similar Facebook adverts for Clarks Shoes that have unfortunately found a number of victims.

Concerned by the reports we were seeing here on Which? Conversation, we put the word out on Facebook itself to gather further evidence:

Help wanted: we've been made aware of fake adverts for Clarks Shoes appearing on Facebook. Have you seen this scam? Do you have a screenshot? If so, get in touch in the comments.

Posted by Which? on Wednesday, February 12, 2020


In the comments we found others familiar with Anthea’s experience – they’d bizarrely received a fake scarf instead:

We made Clarks aware of these dodgy adverts and websites. A Clarks spokesperson said:

At Clarks, we take the reliability of our online presence and the safeguarding of our customers extremely seriously. We were made aware of several fake sites by our brand protection partner Safenames at the end of January and acted immediately to get them taken down.

Any customers with concerns relating to any of these sites should get in touch with our customer care team for support.

When choosing to shop online, we recommend always checking for the official domain authority before completing your purchase, which is clarks.co.uk for all our UK-based customers”

We’re pleased that Clarks has taken action to get these sites removed.

Facebook has previously told us that it takes action to stop fraud ‘wherever it appears’ and is investing in new tools for reporting scam ads.

Last year, we called on it to do more as fradulent ads continued to appear.

Social media advertising

The scammers know that people will have grown accustomed to seeing genuine adverts on social media platforms – they look to exploit that credibility by posing as well-known brands and celebrities that may have already gained your trust.

If you see an account you don’t recognise advertising a brand you do – treat it with suspicion.

Research is essential before you make a purchase; check the URL of the page it’s taking you to, Google the names of stores or offers you don’t recognise and, if you’re still not sure, reach out to a brand directly via its official channels to verify any adverts or offers you’ve seen.

If you’re worried you’ve been scammed by adverts like this, let your bank know what’s happened immediately and read our guide to getting your money back.

Have you seen suspicious adverts for brands such as Clarks? If so, let us know who’s being impersonated in the comments so we can help warn others.

Frank Blades says:
12 June 2020

Recent Clarks scam on Facebook. Advert takes you to Onlinehotsal.shop
Paid but heard nothing. Only £32 but still annoying. Told bank. The payment goes to Reliable FB E-Com Singapore.

Had already fallen foul of this. Unfortunately did not get a screenshot and never received a receipt or confirmation for my order. Payment was to Reliable Kind Singapore, bank looking into this but as I have no paper trail it is unlikely that they will be able to do anything. I had been looking on The genuine Clark’s website earlier and didn’t think anything of it when the Factoryestore website popped up. Note just now coming up as Clarksstore.buzz

Hi, I’ve also been scammed, £55 paid to Reliable FB Singapore, very convincing clarks clearance sale website, received a link to the website from my sister and didnt think to check.

Judith Birkett says:
13 June 2020

I, stupidly, got caught out by the Clarks Shoes scam on Facebook. I paid out £79. I realised as soon as I paid that the website was slightly different – clauks.co.uk. I immediately emailed to cancel and received an email back! I have since emailed twice and had replies saying refund is on the way! I cancelled my card and reported the ad to Facebook. I have applied to credit card company for Chargeback. Not enough to claim off credit card under Section 75.

Lynne Lay says:
13 June 2020

I “bought” through a company called “Aliexpress” for a security camera. Fortunately I paid through paypal. After 3 months I got my money back. I agree with the person who said use paypal.

I too have paid around 80 for Clarkes shoes credit card says reliable kind Singapore…so so fed up ..bought children’s shoes. I will ask my credit card for recharge.

With so many official sites and sellers of genuine Clarks shoes listed on the internet, including some official clearance outlets at discounted prices, the only reason why other sites attract orders is that their advertised prices are absurdly low. This should be the warning that all might not be what it seems and buyers should certainly beware.

It disappoints me that the credit card issuers appear to be continuing to support dodgy traders even after their nefarious practices have given rise to chargeback and, for purchases over £100, S.75 claims.

I am also surprised that people thought it was possible to buy luxury-branded footwear such as Birkenstock at ridiculously low prices. Brands like that would rather burn their surplus stock than let it out on the remainder market.

Jackie Holland says:
15 June 2020

Unfortunately the site was still scamming in early June.
With a link on Face Book. Payment went to Reliable Kind with a Singapore ref.
Talking to my bank now regarding the payment and keeping my account secure.
The site looked just like Clarks Shoes, who do genuinely have some good sales.
Not as good as this one suggested.

Mary Newton says:
17 June 2020

i similary lost quite a bit of cash on an Ecco shoe scam on facebook!

Leonard Wilson says:
17 June 2020

My wife has also been scammed by visiting https://www.factoryestore.com
In early May 2020, it had advertising and linked direct from Facebook as a Clarks shoes outlet, she spent £76 on two pair of shoes and boots, after waiting 3 weeks a cheap pair of imitation Ray Ban sunglasses turned up!
The postage label sent from China, the sender reads as CHEN LONG, 240 Huqingping Road, Shanghai 201100 China
The bank transaction reads as Reliable FB ecommerce
The only contact details are support@oxborder.com, emailed no reply!
As has been stated above, Facebook are making millions out of these adverts, but are just not interested, even if as in this case, and lots of others is fraud, and criminality.

Jonathan Boud says:
2 July 2020

Hi. Same thing happened to me as to Leonard Wilson, same website, sunglasses and postage label sender. also emailed support and no reply. Reported to my bank and debit card was refunded £60-odd. Sunglasses arrived today and I’ve stopped my card. Really p****d off

Jonathan – I am glad you got your money back but I hope your bank reimbursed you because they were able to trap and stop the payment.

It doesn’t help the war on fraud if banks are too liberal with Chargeback and give other customers’ money away without disrupting the illegal activity.

Consumers benefit from plenty of protection, for example FSCS, ATOL and ABTA. Compensation costs are shared by all customers. 🙁

I believe that companies must be more responsible so that fewer compensation claims are needed and payments are not too liberal. In the case of Facebook ads I believe that Facebook should be responsible for compensating those who are scammed as a result of responding directly to dodgy ads. I cannot see any better way of making them look at and approve those ads that they host.

I do not want my money to be used to compensate people who behave less than responsibly. I am prepared to take responsibility for mistakes I make unless someone else has contributed by significant negligence. Otherwise we just encourage the less-then-responsible behaviour of some.

Nor do I, and I believe that each claim for compensation must be judged on its merits. I hope this is done when chargeback claims are made, and also Section 75 claims by credit card holders. Would you agree that it would be better to make Facebook responsible for at least partially responsible for at least partially reimbursing people who have been taken in by fake adverts that the company has been paid to host on their site, Malcolm? If not, is there a better solution? I’m keen on apportionment of blame.

We like to blame, I suppose, and if we must I primarily blame those who see something as too good to be true and do no basic thinking or research – the Clarks scam has been publicised and a google will show it quite readily.

All the media – social, print, tv for example – live on advertising revenue and are not held to account for what the advertisers sell, whether fake, poor quality, or whatever as they do not profit from the sales. That is unlike Amazon et al marketplaces who not only advertise/promote dangerous goods but do profit from each sale.

People must take responsibility for their own actions and learn from mistakes. They, in turn, need to be educated and informed about scams but not be compensated when they behave in a less than responsible way unless someone else in the payment chain has been clearly negligent. Otherwise there is no incentive to be careful.

Proper adjudication of claims can apportion the blame and if appropriate decide that compensation is not appropriate.

If the Clarks scam is well publicised then surely Facebook etc. is negligent for allowing it to appear.

I would not know about this scam if I had not read about it on Which? Convo. I have been protected by avoiding suspiciously low prices and the fact that I have never bought anything advertised on Facebook. I’m not supporting compensation but I do want effective action against organisations that exploit people who might be less wary than us.

What action would you propose against facebook who seem unwilling to act responsibly in a number if anti-social issues? Presumably it would need to be taken by the US? Are they likely to do that? I just don’t see it happening.

Some reputable advertisers have stopped using facebook but 90% of income comes, I understand, from many thousands of small advertisers. A boycott is unlikely to work.

There is an important difference between Chargeback [for debit cards] and s.75 of the Consumer Credit Act [for credit cards] that I feel should condition how we use them.

In the case of Chargeback, the bank has no commercial relationship with the payee [the seller] and is unlikely to be able to stop the payment, or to recapture the money if it has already been transferred, or to take much action at all if the trader is a fraudster or in a foreign jurisdiction. In the case of claims after the non-delivery of ordered goods, then the claim cannot even be made until some time has passed thus reducing the chances of recovery. In earlier times Chargeback was rarely used and then only in respect of customer claims against UK companies of some provenance and with proper company compliance. The bank had a reasonable chance of recovering its money with access to UK courts and enforcement if necessary. Meeting Chargeback claims without recovery of the outlay impacts on other customers of the bank. There is no statutory backing for Chargeback and each bank has its own criteria and policies for administering claims. I suspect that pay-outs are more to do with customer retention and the closure of casework than judicious claims settlement with a corrective effect. Rogue traders will still operate and banks’ customers will continue to place orders with them.

With s.75, the credit card issuer has a direct commercial relationship with the defaulter through the merchant system for credit card transactions and has various sanctions available that deter misuse of the system. Because of that relationship the CC issuer becomes jointly and severally liable for the performance of the contract and can recover any settlement plus costs from the merchant by deductions from credits payable and ultimately can suspend or remove them from the system. Meeting s.75 claims should therefore have little impact on other credit card customers.

So far as possible, people making on-line purchases from companies or traders they do not know, or who are trading from foreign countries, should use a credit card [although for amounts below £100 there is no s.75 protection; that sum is akin to the excess on an insurance policy]. If it is not possible to use a credit card because the trader does not have accredited merchant status, that should sound a warning bell and buyers should understand and accept that they are ordering and making a payment at their own risk. They might not get the goods and it is unlikely that they will get their money back.

The traditional British shoemaker Clark’s Shoes could still be manufacturing here if it had half the orders for shoes that they are losing to rogue traders on the internet. Some years ago they transferred manufacturing and procurement of their products to Asia because production costs were so much lower there. They are still regarded as a quality brand which is why bogus adverts for their shoes at ridiculously low prices have such instant appeal when passed around on Facebook. Unfortunately the company’s reputation is now tarnished by association with fraudulent trading – also emanating from Asia where Clark’s Shoes support a large number of jobs. There is an unfortunate irony in that situation and it is a great pity that the work cannot be repatriated to the UK.

Fair enough John but chargeback and S75 claims involve individual assessment of cases, which is what I’m keen to see rather that automatically awarding compensation. Recall compensation for mis-sold PPi. From what I have read, many of these payments were not justified and might have been fraudulent

I hope that no-one supports automatic compensation.

Malcolm – I don’t know the answers but feel we must do our best to make Facebook responsible. Perhaps those who are aware of scams or suspect them can point this out by commenting on the suspect ad on Facebook. What better than use the site to provide free publicity about scam ads?

I don’t think we have any disagreement about who deserves compensation.

There is individual assessment of claims but how rigorous it is is not clear. I expect quite a lot is delegated to branch level according to a bank-wide guidance manual. Small chargeback claims [say, below £100] could well be be semi-automatic subject to a few verification checks.

On Payment Protection Insurance compensation, I believe the total paid out [or for which provision has been made in banks’ accounts] exceeds the total value of all the loans and mortgages protected. That was a scandal of monumental proportions.

I certainly do not support automatic compensation. In the case of Chargeback, I also question why [except in the most limited of circumstances] there should be any compensation at all from the bank that issued the debit card used to make a payment. If a trader defaults on a contract or fails to make a payment that is legally required then that company’s or person’s bank would be a better recourse for liability; the customer’s bank could undertake the recovery from the defaulter’s bank but should not bear any loss. Inter-bank procedures could smooth out any administrative difficulties to make the process stress-free from the customer’s point of view.

It wouldn’t work for transactions in certain foreign countries but if people are aware of that they can make their own judgment on the risk of losing their money as well as not getting what they ordered.

I tend to agree that Facebook [and other platforms] should be held responsible for compensating those who are scammed as a result of responding directly to dodgy advertisements on their sites. So far as I am aware, newspaper publishers are liable for the conduct of traders who advertise in classified advertisements or small ads in their pages and there is a compensation scheme. I believe this is an industry scheme rather than a statutory requirement. It was introduced many years ago to protect readers and customers and to safeguard the reputations of the newspapers [as well as to protect their revenue]. Newspapers are therefore quite diligent in checking the credentials of advertisers and [in their T&C’s for accepting advertisements] have the right to reject any advertisement about which they have any concerns. Buying goods through newspaper advertisements is therefore relatively safe. The adverse commercial consequences for a breach of the conditions would be severe. I see no reason why Facebook and others should not be obliged to accept the same level of responsibility.

I well remember the Mail Order Protection Scheme which was there to protect customers who ordered goods from ads in magazines and newspapers. I never had a problem, but it was reassuring that MOPS existed. It is reassuring to have the protection of the FSCS and its limitations are admirably clear.

Chargeback and S75 protection are well known to me though I have not used neither and do not know how cases are adjudicated. The ‘knock for knock’ process used in the motor insurance industry is unfair to individuals and I hope that claims against card issuers are subject to proper investigation rather than treated in a way that is convenient to the companies involved.

Yes it would be good if everyone took responsibility for their own actions but maybe it would be better to work with other countries, make social media platforms responsible for the ads they feature or face the consequences.

Malcolm wrote: “What action would you propose against facebook who seem unwilling to act responsibly in a number if anti-social issues? Presumably it would need to be taken by the US? Are they likely to do that? I just don’t see it happening.”

I have explained that in my view, Facebook should be made responsible for dealing with the problem. I believe that they should compensate the victims of the fraud that they as hosts of the ads have condoned. I accept that taking action against a company in the US will be difficult, but if we work together with other countries we might get somewhere.

Elsewhere we have heard of a new scam reporting tool. It’s a step in the right direction but even if it works, scammers are likely to produce new scam ads, as Lauren Merryweather of Which? has said.

What’s the answer then? Do we just say that people are responsible for their own actions and it’s tough if they lose their money?

Well, if it is made clear and well-publicised that people are responsible for their own actions and that they could lose their money there would be a state of certainty and clarity which is lacking at the moment. This is particularly relevant in the case of debit card use which should be regarded as no different to the use of coins and notes – when it’s gone . . . Just because the payment is made via a card provided by the bank does not mean the bank shares your responsibility for the payment.

I don’t think we need to use emotive language like “if you lose your money, that’s tough”. So long as people have been warned of the risks – and they have, almost exhaustively – their behaviour is under their own control. People with bank accounts are deemed to be grown up and must act accordingly. So long as there is proper consideration for people who have particular vulnerabilities and do need support and monitoring then I think the population can be trusted to exercise due care and diligence by themselves.

I agree with that, John. I also agree about making provision for dealing with vulnerable people and those who are less able to make responsible decisions. For example, I have suggested that bank accounts should be offered with different facilities, so withdrawal amount might be capped, transactions might need two authorisations, only registered payees might be allowed, to help protect the payer.

If we have routine compensation for anyone who has been scammed or behaved less than responsibly then, as I see it, we do not encourage thoughtful and considered decision making.

I don’t know, John; the behaviour of people during the pandemic, when the stakes are significantly higher, doesn’t inspire confidence.

It’s not hard to legislate that the publisher of scam ads be held responsible for consequences. That’s fairly straightforward and can be done, irrespective of where the company is based. The real problem comes about when the extent of the legislation is tested in court. In effect, responsibility for the background checking of each ad becomes the responsibility of the publisher. I suspect that would have a devastating effect on local newspapers.

I must admit I’m watching with interest the growing backlash by the business world on Facebook at the moment. The only thing–the only thing that Facebook actually cares about is its profit margin. And that’s being hit hard right now.

I agree with your suggestions, Malcolm. It is quite easy to make suitable arrangements with a person’s bank. We did this for my mother-in-law a few years ago and it had an additional benefit – her state of mind was much improved by the sharing of responsibility with her daughter and being relieved of the stress of improper or excessive withdrawals from her funds.

Adding to your final sentence, I feel that the only way to stop fraudulent trading is to change the market. Withdrawing the safety net will change customer behaviour and disrupt the criminal activity.

Ian – I appreciate what you are saying but local newspapers already exercise control over small ads and so far as I know there are very few cases of scams emerging from those sources.

The internet is a different basket of vipers and much harder for a company like Facebook to monitor and regulate because of the sheer volumes involved. But that is the market they have created; they wanted scale and numbers. They wanted to commercialise and monetise friendship and sharing. Now they have the problems that go with the territory.

They are currently losing advertising revenue as global brands withdraw from association with hateful comments and other inflammatory content promulgated through Facebook’s media channels. Facebook founder, CEO, Chairman and controlling shareholder Mark Zuckerberg has dismissed the advertising boycott as an empty threat. Shrugging it off, he told a staff meeting “My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough” and “We’re not going to change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue.”

Well, we shall see. I am a strong believer in the idea that, in an intelligent mind, every negative reaction provokes a review of attitudes and behaviour. The fear of loss of face prevents an immediate response but over time things change. The pressure will not subside and people in Zuckerberg’s position eventually start to think about what they leave as their enduring legacy – he does, after all, have quite an inflated opinion of his own significance to the world and would prefer to be seen as benign.

I don’t see checking adverts for scams as being particularly difficult or time-consuming – they are mostly very recognisable [and AI can assist] – so once it becomes known that there is a control system the flow will abate. They already have to expend massive effort on taking down stuff already posted; that same energy can be redeployed to stopping it from appearing in the first place.

I am all in favour of placing caps on spending until customers show that they can behave responsibly. When I first had a credit card in my early 20s I had a small credit limit, which seemed sensible.

I think we are all agreed that vulnerable people need protected. The problem is that in between them and those of us who can recognise and avoid scams, there are many people who fall in between these extremes. Do we just deny them any form of protection?

Many of us can protect ourselves by either not purchasing from Facebook ads or avoiding the site altogether.

John mentioned what I remember as the Mail Order Protection Scheme, which magazine and newspapers used to provide readers with the confidence to purchase goods advertised in their publications. Maybe that is what Facebook should be doing, or required to do.

It’s interesting what Ian says about the business world and Facebook. This is something I had not considered.

What Zuckerberg fails to realise is that Facebook, despite its size, is prone to market pressures such as fads. While it’s still true that many older people remain on it, younger people are not joining as they used to, and those still on it are becoming more savvy over time.

As I understand it, the Mail Order Protection Scheme acts as the clearing house for advertisers in national newspapers. Once cleared by MOPS, newspapers can accept their advertisements without further examination. The corollary is that submissions from advertisers not approved by MOPS can be rejected without further ado. Apparently, the MOPS acceptance criteria are strict and rigorously applied. A similar operation could be introduced for internet channels, including social media, search engines, and product-promoting websites and ‘influencers’.

Sadly, it looks as if MOPS may no longer be active: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05704184/filing-history

That would be a pity because it could mean more chargeback and Section 75 claims.

Setting up an equivalent scheme for Facebook ads might be easier than taking global action against the company. Buyers could be advised to look for ads that do offer protection, as many of us did when MOPS was in widespread use.

It seems that the National Newspapers MOPS morphed into the Safe Home Ordering Scheme but that might no longer be in existence. Perhaps the internet has killed off mail order through newspapers. It’s some time since I last looked at a newspaper mail order advertisement. Product advertisements usually just direct you to a website nowadays or invite you to send for a catalogue.

I wonder how long Facebook will be with us. I remember young family members enthusiastically showing me something called Bebo, which had a short period of considerable popularity before going into decline and eventually going bust. Having seen what has gone wrong with Facebook, the world needs to be ready to keep its successors under a much closer rein.

John – I had seen reference to ‘SHOPS’ but that has gone: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/02044222/filing-history

I remember the magazine ads that were protected by MOPS but it was always made clear that the scheme covered only goods bought from their ads and not form catalogues, even ones advertised in the ads.

I wonder if anyone has thought of setting up a similar scheme for ads on social media.

Through the addictive nature of it, social media probably has a long future but no one platform commands any great loyalty after a new operator arrives on the scene – although the barriers to entry are now quite high up against players like Facebook and Twitter. Probably only another global media company could launch a new site today.

It’s interesting that Facebook owns both Instagram and WhatsApp. Perhaps that’s their investment in the future.

It makes good sense to diversify. Some companies have adapted well during the coronavirus pandemic and others have not, making it uncertain whether they will survive.

When Skype was taken over by Microsoft I promptly dismissed it from my computer and started using WhatsApp, which was then dismissed in disgust when Facebook took over WhatsApp. Somewhat reluctantly it was reinstated WhatsApp in order to keep in touch with friends and now I’m in regular touch with an old friend I have seen once since our university days. By providing services that are genuinely useful more people are likely to find themselves using these companies in one way or other.

Carol says:
18 June 2020

Got taken in by a fake Russell & Bromley site advertising on Instagram. Was offering 90% discounts – should have remembered the old adage ‘if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is!’ Fortunately I entered the wrong cvc number so the transaction failed. However given that I had entered so much of my personal info I have cancelled my debit card and asked my bank to reissue. It looked so genuine but lesson learned!!

I too have purchased shoes from, what I thought was, Clarks. I’ve had a couple of emails saying goods are being despatched, but having read the article here, I’m not expecting to receive them. Will contact credit card company for refund.

Next time you purchase from an unknown seller, try this shopping checklist I put together.

Knowing that it is an unknown seller is the first hurdle to overcome. Many of these sites are designed to look authentic and don’t indicate the country of origin. They also have plausible URL’s, although applying your checklist would catch that, of course.

Jan will possibly get something eventually but I bet it won’t be a pair of quality Clark’s shoes.

Deb says:
28 June 2020

I ordered three pairs of shoes from what I thought was Clarke’s but after over a month of waiting I had a Versace fake baseball cap delivered instead , after contacting the so called supplier I have been told to keep the cap and they will refund 38% which I refused or now they say to return the cap to China which as they say is expensive and then they would refund 45% of my money ! What do I do ? Total farce , surely there must be a protection clause when advertising on Facebook? Who do I go to to get my money back .

Carolyn Bacon says:
28 June 2020

I also got caught, I ordered 2 pairs of shoes, emailed them 3 times, I did get a reply saying they were a genuine company and artached a very small picture of the despatched order, as I suggested in my email they were fake, I have received a pair of cheap looking designer sunglasses yesterday, but no shoes as of yet.

Gavenn Cousens says:
29 June 2020

Same has happened here ordered trainers and sunglasses arrived today!!

Carmen says:
29 June 2020

Saw the add yesterday on Facebook. Unfortunately, I bought first (greedy) and got suspicious later.

https://www.clarksuoutlets.com/ I’ve got a screenshot but can’t upload it. I saw it yesterday on Facebook, got greedy, bought shoes like crazy, and just today, drinking my coffee, the pin dropped. My credit card says I can’t block it, just claim it later.

I received my amazing Raybans today – not the three pairs of Clark’s shoes I ordered! Confirmation emails received re the order , tracking number provided and finally mugged off today. I have spent years avoiding scams, generally spotting them a mile off. Clearly dropped my guard on this occasion. Could have been worse. Initial searches failed to identify anything suspicious but not today!

Yep – fell for it too – TBH £30 wasn’t a big write off – and I did get a set of knock off Ray Bans with one of the nose rests missing…….

Maz says:
2 July 2020

Fell for this on 3June 2020. Ordered and paid by debit card for 1 pair Clarke’s shoes and 1 pair of sandals. Payment of £40 made to Reliable FB E-commerce. Received text saying order received from support@bishop.com and included a telephone number which turned out to be not recognised but was a Guernsey tel. No. Received a couple of emails says goods shipped and gave tracking no. Received parcel on 27 June via royal mail. It contained a pair of the most bizarre sunglasses with a value of $10. ! Unfortunately I cannot find the ad again.

Anna Falshaw says:
2 July 2020

I too have fell foul to these criminals! Sent £120 to Reliable FB. comm on 5th June. From Debit card. Still not received goods! After several emails, had no reply. Scandalous!!!!!!
I will try and reclaim from the bank.

Anna, if you fall for a scam and use your debit card to make a payment, why should the bank pay for your error? As far as I know they have no knowledge of the status of the company you are authorising payment to.