As technology continues to advance it is also improving the ways we, as humans, communicate and interact with one another. Good or bad. I will now introduce you into the bad side that technology has on digital marketing, specifically scamming.
Now when I think of someone getting scammed it often involves a degree of communication by the perpetrator, say for example the Nigerian Prince informing you he needs money ASAP or a dodgy street trick that forces you into an inevitable loss. However, most of us have enough common sense to not go forward with these scenarios, but what about when the criminal happens to be an online retailer? A retailer that has advertisements on social media such as Facebook and Instagram, would you second guess yourself into thinking you may be about to get scammed? I personally wouldn’t. Which is what makes this so dangerous.
A Danish online retailer named ‘Lux International Sales ApS’, has advertised its products in posts that are sponsored on social media, which when clicked on, direct consumers straight to their website. This is where the scam begins, consumers who are browsing on the site are unable to view prices of the products they are interested in, unless they input their name, email and home address. After this is completed, you click the drop down menu on the ‘Quantity of Product’ wanted, to give you the total price. Just by selecting the amount of products you want, LuxStyle automatically locks in your purchase without your need to click a traditional ‘Confirm Purchases’ button, consequently sending the consumer an invoice to their home and a friendly email notification stating about how thankful they are about the purchase you just made!
A victim of this scam can be seen in this email below.
For a company to be this misleading is beyond me, especially with technology right at our fingertips. As expected, there has been enormous backlash with a Facebook page forming about the scam gaining over 1000 likes and follows. To add even more salt to the wound, if consumers did not pay for their unsolicited goods Luxstyle would proceed to contact Australian-based debt collectors! However, victims are of course under their right not to pay for these goods. The Australian Competition & Consumer Competition (ACCC) stated that “The Australian Consumer Law provides specific protection to Australian consumers. If a business sends unsolicited goods to an Australian consumer, the consumer is not required to pay for the goods, nor is the consumer required to pay to return the goods.”As you can imagine, the ACCC issued a public warning to the public about the activities of this business.
Take away points:
- As a consumer, know your rights.
- As a business, know that attempting to scam your “customers” can only lead to massive public backlash, negative brand associations and reduced sales.
- Scams are evolving with technology. We should all be doing our due diligence in order to avoid and report new and old tactics of fraud.