Shoppers Beware

Facebook, are you listening?

If you advertise on Facebook, you might want to consider reading this too.

At first glance, Facebook is an advertiser’s dream. The data Facebook has on its users gives them an unprecedented edge in delivering ads to the most ripe buyers—often people who have recently searched for similar items.

As a buyer, those ads never bothered me—or the fact I knew I was being targeted by the data I had fed Facebook over the years. I figured it simply helped me find items I was already looking for.

I erroneously assumed I had a level of protection—because of all those comments from satisfied cusomers, right? If buyers said the product sucked, I could pass. Right?

Okay, here is my story.

I found an item on Facebook I thought would be terrific for our motor home. It was a magnetized shelf that went on the refrigerator. According to all the comments (and there were lots of them), it worked great.

Actually, that part was correct. When I finally received the shelf—almost a month later—it did have amazing magnetic power. However, it was MUCH smaller than the product description of the item I had purchased.

According to the ad, the shelf I was purchasing was five-inches deep. The one I received, was only two-inches deep. The item I purchased was advertised to hold a roll of paper towels—the rack I received was far too narrow to hold a roll of paper towels. In fact, it was not just smaller than the item I ordered, it was a completely different shelf.

When I complained through their Facebook store, I was told they would send me my refund—after I paid to have the item shipped back to CHINA. I then requested they send me a paid shipping label for the return. After all, other companies do that. Plus, why should I pay to return an item I never ordered? The item they sent me was clearly NOT what I had ordered. It would be like ordering cowboy boots, but they send slippers. Sure, they both go on your feet, but they are two different items.

They never responded to my request for a postage paid shipping label. I filed a complaint on PayPal, and the best they could do was a token refund. 

However, what irritated me most, when I returned to the Facebook page I had purchased the item all those positive comments I had read when I had first seen the item—gone. All of them.

And now, there were posted reviews—negative reviews that had come in AFTER I had made my purchased. They all reported the same thing. Basically, a bait and switch. The company behind the Lazy Shack Facebook page, according to my PayPal receipt, is Zola Technology Limited.

I also found a SECOND Facebook shop for this company:

I reported what I consider consumer fraud to Facebook, but the stores remain on Facebook. Not sure if Facebook is still accepting their ads. Since I reported Lazy Shack, I suspect they will stop targeting me for the ads. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find ANY contact information for consumer complains regarding Facebook ads, aside from a form to fill out and submit.

So what have I learned? If I find something really neat through a Facebook ad, I will go to Amazon and see if I can find the product. That shelf I wanted, it is on Amazon Prime, so they would have paid my shipping. And I know with Amazon, they stand behind their products. At least, that has been my experience.

I am sad to discover Facebook is obviously an unsafe place to buy from vendors. I am still curious as to what happened to all those positive comments I had initially read. They had misled me…and they were the reason I made my purchase.

I will never again buy directly from a Facebook link. And if I was a relatively unknown vendor, wanting to find buyers, I would advertise my Amazon page. I would not take a potential customer to my company page, for fear of losing a skeptical buyer, like me.

***UPDATE I am thrilled to report PayPal sided in my favor and refunded my money. YAY PayPal!

Fake Facebook Accounts – Who are you really talking to?


How many Facebook friends do you have? Have you checked the validity of each one? Are you sure they are who you think they are?

Do you ever wonder if that Facebook friend you are chatting with – sharing little secrets in Facebook’s private message box – is really the person you think she is? Maybe it is your old best friend from high school, and you haven’t seen her for years, but the profile picture is hers, and the other photos on her site look legit – you recognize many of the faces in her photographs. Pictures don’t lie, do they? Plus, she and you share many of the same friends. No scam here. Umm. . . maybe.

Perhaps one of your current Facebook friends has recently sent you a new friend’s request. You accept, because the page looks just like his other one – same name, banner and photos, just without the older posts. You figure he wants to clean up his Facebook account and decided to create a new one, and will eventually delete the original. But he wants YOU as one of his friends – he is keeping YOU when he zaps the old account and flushes some of his former friends. Don’t you feel special? Umm. . . maybe.

This is not a particularly new Facebook identity theft scam, but one many people don’t know about. I’ve had it happen to two friends so far (that I know about). One months ago – and another this morning, which is why I am writing this post.

Here is how it works.

The thieves create a new Facebook account, pretending to be someone else. They steal the other person’s info and photos with a simple cut and paste, and add it to the new page. They even take that person’s banner he or she created.

Then they BLOCK the person they are cloning. This help keeps the person in the dark.

The fake sends off friend requests to friends of the person they are cloning – and/or friends of those friends, hoping to snare someone who hasn’t yet friended that person, yet knows them.

Imagine the possibilities. Intimate chats with people who think you are someone else. Access to private information only shared with friends. Plus other devious stuff you or I can’t even imagine.

So what should we do to protect ourselves? For starters, if you get a friend request from someone who is already a friend, let them know IMMEDIATELY about the new account. If it is a clone, he probably can’t see it. It is  a good idea to contact him by phone or his private email account that you’ve previously verified.  Also, un-friend that fake immediately!  You may even want to block the fake.

And remember, it is not a good idea to share anything – either in a Facebook chat or your Facebook page – that you don’t care if the entire world can see. Because, even if you have your privacy settings to private, there is always a way for someone to share your most intimate Facebook ramblings and photos with the rest of the world.

Don’t forget — if one of your friends is a fake,  that fake can swipe your banner, photos and other info to use in creating a fake account, even if YOUR privacy settings are set at the highest level.

Facebook – A Little Creepy and Intrusive


Last weekend my husband and I drove around to the local furniture stores looking at headboards and electric fireplaces. When we couldn’t find what we wanted, we went online and looked around.

I came across a furniture site I’d never seen before, and they had the perfect headboard. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it in king size. As for the electric fireplaces, we couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for.

We aren’t really in a hurry to buy either, even if we find what we love – it was only a bit of window shopping.

When I logged into Facebook on Monday, I was surprised to find that obscure online furniture store – the one with the headboard I liked – on my Facebook news feed. And no, I did not visit the site’s Facebook page, nor did I click on any “like.”

My husband tells me he experienced the same thing on his computer, where electric fireplaces populated his Facebook ads.

We recently bought a new double oven range, and before the purchase I did a little online price comparison. Since then, a double rage oven has been a regular fixture on the Facebook sponsored ads. I just peeked, and it seems that obscure furniture site is now the ad above the range.

How does this make me feel? Rather creepy.