An advert appearing on Facebook doesn’t mean the retailer behind it is genuine. Here’s why it’s important to do your research before heading to the checkout.
This week we published extensive research into consumer attitudes, knowledge and behaviour relating to scams on social media platforms, with a focus on Facebook due to its size and influence.
As a result, it’s a good time to show exactly why we have such concerns, with social media users contacting us regularly describing Facebook adverts that aren’t what they seem.
In this case, a member of the public got in contact with us after they’d placed an order for Gymshark sportswear after seeing an advert on Facebook.
When our scams writer Faye Lipson queried the transaction directly with Gymshark, its response couldn’t have been clearer: it only sells its items through its official website. Any other retailers are fraudulent.
Hey Faye. We only sell our items through the official https://t.co/MN0kukNiNM website – any other sites selling Gymshark products are fraudulent. If you DM @Gymshark_Help, and send through the link, our support team can get it reported to the relevant team. Thank you!
— Gymshark (@Gymshark) September 23, 2020
Essential to do your research
This is a timely reminder of why it’s essential to do your research before clicking through on a social media advertisement and heading to an online checkout.
Just because you’ve seen a social media advert for a brand you trust doesn’t mean that it’s a genuine advertisement.
If you’re ever unsure about the authenticity of a retailer, contact the brand directly via its official channels. We also have six tips to spot a social media scam, which includes closely inspecting the URL of the site in question.
Does it look suspicious? Would you expect to see a genuine retailer using a domain name in this way?
If you do think you may have given your details to fraudsters, let your bank know immediately. If you’ve lost money, read our guide to getting your money back after a scam.
Have you seen Facebook ads for Gymshark or other brands you think may be suspicious? Let us know in the comments and help us warn others.