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Scam watch: stung by fake shoe ad

A fraudulent Facebook ad posing as a luxury retailer tricked this victim into parting with their cash. Would you be able to spot it?

When an ad appeared on a Facebook user’s timeline appearing to be for luxury shoe shop Russell & Bromley, they clicked through and placed an order.

The three pairs of shoes they had apparently purchased came to a total of £72 and were paid for by credit card.

The confirmation email arrived 30 minutes later, but things were clearly not as they seemed. It was written in broken English and made no mention of the products they’d supposedly ordered.

Guide: how to spot a scam

The victim contacted their card provider immediately, cancelling the card and ordering a new one. It transpired that the £72 had been charged in Chinese yuan, so they’d actually paid £93.

Unfortunately the payment couldn’t be stopped, but they have since applied for a refund.

As for the advert, we’re told it continues to appear on both Facebook and Instagram, despite efforts made to report it.

Russell & Bromley itself is aware of this scam and has placed a warning on its website. It is actively working with its legal partners to shut down illegitimate websites.

Proliferation of fake ads

We’re hopeful that the card company refunds this victim, and have advised that a chargeback claim is possible as the shoes never arrived.

Chargeback means you can get your money back (in many cases) if goods and services aren’t delivered, or are delivered but not as described. It applies to debit and credit card payments.

Many credit card payments qualify for an even stronger, legally enshrined protection called Section 75. Unfortunately, this payment doesn’t as the goods cost less than £100.

We’re concerned about the proliferation of fake ads on social media and other websites.

Facebook told us it takes action to stop fraud ‘wherever it appears’ and is investing in a new tool for reporting scam ads.

Have you spotted this fake shoe ad on social media? Have you seen anything similar? If so, get in touch in the comments.


I fell for this scam too and received some ray ban sunglasses (fake). Reported this to my bank and they initially credited my account and then contacted the seller to give them the opportunity to defend the dispute. The seller is saying here is the tracking and a package was delivered…. I have now had to provide PDF’s of all emails to the bank. Thankfully I kept the glasses and all packaging and sent a copy of this to my bank too….clearly a couple of pairs of boots will not fit into a box for glasses. Hopefully my bank will see sense and not claw the money back from my account

Crofton, I received an email the other day from “Rayban online” offering me “their” sunglasses at 10% of ( of, not off) the list price. So you can be scammed directly without having them as a substitute for shoes.

Janice M says:
21 July 2021

Just happened to me but not through a Facebook ad I actually search for Clark’s sandel on google and and the Clark’s (fake)website came up £48 later ouch!