/ 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

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.

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

Janette Bolder says:
16 July 2020

Same here I paid for 3 pairs of Clarke’s sandals and received same rubbish sunglasses

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

Tina says:
20 July 2020

Hi Joanna – I thought the same but sandals did eventually arrive (today) via the royal mail. Rubbish emails from them not at all helpfull and can’t ring them either but hey ho they did arrive. Took over 2 months. Hope you get yours – mine are really nice.

Jens says:
13 August 2020

This also happened to me. I ordered three pairs of Mathilda sandals from KateShoes Londons advert on facebook and paid over £100 for them. After unsuccessfully trying to contact them and receiving meaningless responses, usually in French, for two months, I received three pairs of strange coloured plastic sandals of very poor quality. I tried to return them and get my money back and was told to return them to a ‘Suite 654’ at an address in Alberquerqe, undamaged and unopened in their original packaging, naturally at my own expense. To send and track a package to the other side of the world will cost almost as much as the shoes, so I have been trying to contact them about alternatives for several days now and all I’ve received are meaningless answers. I’m now trying to recoup money from my credit card company. I do NOT recommend using KateShoes London!

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?

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!

I spent £40 buying two pairs of Clark’s shoes for my husband a few months ago. I was unable to pay using Paypal as they didn’t accept this, so had to use my debit cards. Of course I never received the shoes and every email I wrote was never replied to. I had no way of getting my money back.
I did’t even get the tatty scarf or dodgy sunglasses.

Were you not suspicious that you could buy Clarks’ shoes for £20 a pair?

If the trader is where I think it is, for a 5,000 mile journey the transport costs alone would exceed the price! There is also the long journey from the manufacturing plant in India or Vietnam to the seller.

Anne Dudley says:
17 July 2020

Sadly I was caught too the cost of £40 – I received some horrible ‘Oakely’ sunglasses instead – company has proof of delivery I guess.
I tried to contact the company and got an apology back saying it must have been the logistics team!

I have asked for a full refund, but suffice to say I am not hopeful!

We all live and learn I guess


Louise says:
18 July 2020

I was scammed. I saw an ad for Ted Baker shoes on Facebook took my money and Shoes were never delivered. They were for my daughters wedding. So we’ll done I had no idea

ross williams says:
19 July 2020

Caught by a facebook scam for £42.50. Lorenzi orthapaedic sandals, found it impossible to make an online complaint to facebook who must be taking advertising money, too my mind facebook is culpable.

I ordered 3 pairs of Loakes for £90 from a Loakes-sale Facebook site. What am I like?!
Got my fake ray-bans just the other day. There’s been a carnival atmosphere with my family and even down my street ever since. Mrs Nailer from three doors along almost put her back out of joint from all the twerking.
There will be a LOT of people walking around in Fake ray-bans this summer.

Ha! Ha! Daniel. I appreciate your sense of humour but you probably won’t see that £90 again and most people who have fallen for these scams can’t afford to laugh about it. You wouldn’t be able to buy a single Loake shoe for that price in a shoe shop.

According to Wikipedia: “Loake have held a Royal Warrant since 2007, for providing men’s footwear to Her Majesty the Queen.” I’m not sure it would suit her.

Perhaps the shoes are for Her Majesty’s footmen.

I would not like to be in her shoes if she has to foot the bill.

dolly says:
28 July 2020

i clicked on a link in facebook for little tikes toys they took my money on the 19th june and have not revived anything

Mrs Linda Steer says:
2 August 2020

I was also scammed by fake Facebook ad for Clarks shoes. (£76) . I contacted bank and got charge back, but company produced certificate of posting and charge was reimposed. Their posting label does not match the one we have. It says glasses on it. Fake Guccis in our case. Would be nice if banks could block these very unsuffisticated frauds. Our economy needs all the he,p it can get!

Mrs M Hall says:
11 September 2020

My husband ordered a pair of Clarke’s shoes and received a pair of fake ray ban sunglasses. Must have e mailed every day for 12 weeks and received all sorts of excuses, until I finally threatened them with Chinese trading standards (is there such a thing) and surprise surprise within 24hours we received our money back in FULL, so don’t give up just threaten anything.

Well done. I hope others will do the same.

we were scammed last night (xmas day) by the fake Russell& Bromley site on Facebook. Have since ontacted our bank to cancel the bank card. Facebook need to take urgent action as its disgraceful!

Karen says:
27 December 2020

I’ve just fallen fit the Fake Russell and Bromley site😡
I had problems paying so rang my credit card company straight away , at that time no payments had gone through.
I’m a little worried that they have my email, address .
I’ve notified Facebook. Feeling very foolish should have realised it was fake.

Stupid says:
1 January 2021

I’ve been scammed too on Boxing Day. The Russell and Bromley outlet website. £110. I’m gutted but going to bank to see what they can do. As soon as I made my purchase I got alerts from Barclays saying the suspected suspicious activity and blocked my account, leaving me with no money for two days, I live alone and had to borrow from a neighbour. I’m really down about all of this.

Susannah Natalie says:
21 January 2021

It’s Susie – I’ve been scammed, I’ve ordered pair of ‘ Doc Martens ‘ boots from a website called “mdbootssale”.com
This website is a scam and it robs you. Today I’ve received a fake ray ban sunglasses. There’s no contact number on them and they don’t reply to any emails – instead they have an automatic email sent back to you saying it’s not working and that you can’t contact them. I’ve learned my lesson but I didn’t know, people do this. I’ve lost £38 and I’m absolutely gutted. Whatever you do, don’t go for cheap prices on the websites like these, you’ll get scammed.

Hi Susie – Thanks for posting. I’m sorry you have lost your money. I suggest you contact your bank or credit card company and ask for a refund. I doubt you will get one but if enough people do this it might push the banking industry to stop providing accounts and card services for fraudsters.

As you say there is no phone number. There is also no information about the company running the website or information about returns. The website should be shut down immediately. Perhaps Which? could advise how to report rogue websites.