/ Money

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.

sharon Kerstein says:
19 June 2020

i was also scammed saw an advertisment on Facebook for Russell & Bromley bought a pair of shoes paid via paypal which was also a scam, never again would I click on a site on Facebook

Hilary Stone says:
21 June 2020

Have read all your comments, I’ve been done too. I could claim COVID brain, cabin fever or just plain stupidity. But I am honest and expect others to be too. The bank told me to get in touch if I did not receive anything within fourteen days. They at least were kind. I wrote to the shoes store rb by email, they say their shop is in London, but the money did go to Singapore. They replied yesterday, not in our Queens English, to say they were legit, that my parcel would arrive and that I could trust them. When I clicked on the Courier, it came up with no such Company, so I’m hoping all the evidence might get me a refund. Funny thing is I love Clark’s shoes and would not have bought any other brand. I too will in future only buy from a shop, where I will have tried them on. No sarky comments from me, I understand what’s happened to us all lately, has lulled us into a false sense of security. Stay safe everyone, and when Go shopping YOU feel ready go to the shops and buy face to face. Don’t be pressured to go shopping if you feel vulnerable, don’t send your children to School if your gut tells you not to. Don’t walk into a Tesco if you feel uneasy. Live your own life in your own way.

Ramona Piitulainen says:
2 July 2020

Same here, i ve paied 40€ for 3 pairs of shoes and got some horrible sunglasses instead. Ofc their webpage is down.

Lee-Ann Welsh says:
3 July 2020

I too was scammed and have some tae ray bans in return. the site is russellbromley.com and still operating

Marie Ann Carr says:
11 July 2020

Exactly the same happened to me too. My Ray bans arrived yesterday! £56 was taken from my bank on 12th June, My worry now is that they have my card details, will they take any more??

Joanna Ronan says:
3 July 2020

Hi I think I’ve been scammed by Kate shoes London an advert on Facebook
I order 2 pairs of shoes 6 weeks ago
After 2 weeks I called the number on website and spoke to Marie a so called customer service but had no authority to refund me and said. Had to email so I did but never once in a reply did they offer refund
The address in Ireland they claim is there office doesn’t exist and the other office in Canada is a office where you can rent a room
I’ve sent loads of emails and spoke to Marie several times and still no refund
Does anyone know if this is a scam or a real company as I’ve put 2 reviews on their website but they are not showing
I’m so annoyed I’ve lost £68 gutted

rosie says:
6 July 2020

Hi there, this has also happened to me, I’ve contacted my bank and opened an incident with them, pretty much similar amount as me actually and yes, I’ve spoken to that woman too, I keep asking for a refund, but they reply to the email but never agree to a refund and she tells me it needs to be done on line which I have done anyway. Im hoping my bank will be able to recoup the money somehow or even under the insurance of the debit card, they actually had my order number , Im curous if everyone gets the same order number…as soon as I got the confirmation email it was in French! and as I say , with a very short order number, I completely reckon its a scam

Maurice Mountford says:
4 July 2020

Just received a pair of (fake) ray-ban sunglasses after ordering 2 pairs of Clark shoes via facebook site on the 7th June 2020. Is there any way to claim back my money or is this just another life lesson??

Nigel Hancock says:
5 July 2020

I’m a web designer by trade and acutely aware of scams and how they work. My wife got scammed on the clarkseushop.com but, to her credit, she got me to check out the website before she ordered. It was very convincing and I got taken in. By the way, we were sent 3 pairs of fake Burberry Socks one pair of small, one medium and one large. Obviously for people with variable feet! What I don’t get is that by accepting these paid ads, Facebook must be benefitting from the fraud so why can’t they be prosecuted?

Jan Simmonds says:
10 July 2020

I have been taken in by this too. Purchased a pair of Clarks sandals via Facebook – have just received two pairs of socks. Trying to get refund via credit card company – but not expecting much luck!!Jsn

Was the price not suspicious?

Mike Davison says:
15 July 2020

I ordered two silicon miracle sponges from an advert on Scopely’s Scrabble Go game. Price for one was £10; the second was supposed to be free, but then they added £5 extra on for postage (the first sponge was supposed to be free postage), so I paid £15 in total. I did receive an email telling me the sponges were being delivered from the UK and were on their way. That was over a month ago. I’m not holding my breath.

My Mum ordered a pair of Kiwinic sandals from the Scrabble Go app, more than 3 months ago. She has been chasing them, and has received ‘tracking information’ about the sandals, with an instruction to pay import duty. I think at the moment the ‘sandals’, which reportedly started their journey in China, are now waiting somewhere in Belarus for the next stage of their journey. Hope they’re enjoying the scenery.

Wendy says:
15 July 2020

I followed a link from Facebook and ordered a pair of Clark’s shoes, should have known the deal was too good to be true… weeks later a pair of fake Rayban sunglasses have arrived!