/ 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.

Davids says:
27 January 2020

I realise I have just been caught by the Clarkseu shoes scam. First time caught out in many years of internet shopping. They were cheap but not much cheaper than Clarks’ sale. In hindsight there were signs – but with Clarks branding, accepting Paypal and Visa etc, it felt ok.

More annoying than being scammed, however, are the pompous comments from posters on this thread. How I wish I was perfect 🙂

Chris Hume says:
4 February 2020

Just realised ive been caught. Will I get money back from bank

This might depend on the manner in which you have “been caught”.

If you used a credit card and spent over £100 in one transaction you could be eligible for a refund so you should apply to your card provider. The whole amount does not have to be paid via a credit card but a portion must have been.

See the Which? guidance –

claire hagan says:
5 February 2020

Been caught out also!!!!!

anthea ferguson says:
11 February 2020

Caught out by scam on Facebook offering cheap Clarks shoes. After several weeks a fake Burberry scarf came. Not a huge amount of money – less than thirty pounds – and at least I got something, but in hindsight it was pretty stupid to click on an ad on Facebook. Don’t do it! Perhaps it’s a sign that we should all start going to real shops again and save our high streets!

I have been caught by this obviously fake site. I received a bad fake Burberry scarf which is only fit for my dustbin. Lucky for me my bank has refunded the cash. I will be more careful to not use facebook again to purchase anything.