I was recently presented an ad offering me an early access deal to a portable laser engraver for the super low price of $19.99. That in itself should have been the clue that this was one of those offers that was too good to be true. But already having a larger non-portable laser engraver, I thought $20 was cheap enough that if it wasn’t a great laser system, I would not be out that much money. So, I placed my order which totaled $29.98 after the $9.99 shipping fee was tacked on. Here is the ad for the item from the web site www.maddemall.com:
Now, the interesting piece of the puzzle is the “Style” dropdown selector. It offers two options:
Selecting the second option, results in the image and price changing from the $19.99 shown in the dropdown to $999,999.99.
Now the thing to notice is back on the original of the dropdown selector and the actual image itself provided when that item is selected. The first option from the description from the dropdown reads:
🔥 Super Bird Deal $19.99 Today – The Most Powerful Handheld Laser Engraver & Cutter, glasses accessories
While the second option reads:
🔥 Super Bird Deal $19.99 Today – The Most Powerful Handheld Laser Engraver & Cutter
Notice the difference is the addition of “glasses accessories” on the first. The problem is, unless you click on the drop down, the appended “accessories glasses” description does not show. I guess the other hint is the picture shows the safety glasses front and center over the items you expect to receive.
When the order is placed and Paypal selected as the payment option, the actual money is provided to Ouyi Electronics Commerce (ouyiec.com). Between placing the order and receiving my Laser Engraver, oh wait, I mean my “accessories glasses”, I received a couple of e-mails. One for the order confirmation which has the “accessories glasses” on the description. Once I received my product from the shipper, ZJLogistics in Ontario California, and found it differed from my expectations; I immediately went to Paypal to start a dispute process and forwarded information concerning my complaint directly to the e-mail address that sent me the order confirmation. Here is the response I received from firstname.lastname@example.org:
Clearly not from a native english speaker and sounds as if my fate came from a Chinese fortune cookie. Paypal had to wait for a response from their seller which was to offer me $6.99 and do the return shipping. I declined the offer and within a couple of hours had a response from Paypal that they had decided in my favor. Yesterday, my $29.98 was back in my account.
As part of investigating this and other similar claims against the Ouyi Electronic Commerce company, it seems they are notorious about showing one thing and shipping another. The problem is the larger entities that allow ads from these scammers don’t seem to take reports of the ads being fraudulent seriously and fail to remove the advertisers from their sites. Check out this Buzzfeed.News article that specifically calls out Facebook and mentions the Ouyi Electronic Commerce Co., Ltd. of Shenzhen by name. The Facebook advertising name used by the company appears to be Wonderful-Hi. Now I just wish Paypal would track the number of complains against this seller and assess if the total amount of funds they have received exceed the threshold that requires reporting the company as part of a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) so other potential payment processors could be aware of the fraud potential associated with the company. I know this will never happen, but Paypal could have told me when I was about to make the payment that the company had X number of complaints in the last 12 months or something to get me to reconsider sending a known scammer money.
To close this out, I also filed complains with the California Attorney General for consumer fraud using the ZJLogistics shipper as the scammer since they are located in California. I also filed a complaint with the United States Postal Inspector for consumer fraud since the package was shipped by ZJLogistics using the U.S Postal Service. I have also tried to locate the Chinese government web page to report fraud against a Chinese company, but the site is super slow and the form to make the report has alluded me thus far. Hopefully this post may help others avoid dealing with fraudulent company and losing any money. Sadly, from this experience, I have moved any recurring payments I had through Paypal to a card I only use for online purchases and removed any direct connection from Paypal to my bank accounts. It’s probably a bit harsh to take out my frustration on Paypal, but I think they could have done more to protect me from this seller prior to sending them money.
They also have a Amazon storefront: Amazon.com
- Business Country
- Company: Shenzhen Ouyi Electronic Commerce Co., Ltd.
- Business Address: No. 68 Guiping Road Longgan, Room 01 Building 2, Longgang District Shenzhen, Guangdong, 518000, CN
Update: March 6, 2021: Following up on this after getting a comment about someone receiving a dog brush when they ordered a dog ramp. Any link I can currently locate from a google search for “site:maddemall.com” results in a notice which reads “Sorry, this shop is currently unavailable.” The source of the accompanying image is hosted at staticdj.com, which turns out to be the Alibaba cloud domain. So, I have to wonder if the shop was closed by the hosting provider Alibaba Cloud and not willingly by the merchant. While looking at the cached versions of the pages no longer available, I stumbled across an e-mail address (email@example.com) that leads to other online shops that are eerily similar to maddemall.com:
topshinee.com (dead domain – but cache matched)
The other sites below were located through this firstname.lastname@example.org address provided for customer support on laser engraver item page on sunzalea.com:
The latest redirect from trying to visit maddemall.com is now www.kinganswer.com with the store name changed from Wonderful-HI-com to SuperSTAR-com. Can’t find where google has indexed the same Laser Engraver scam, but they offer a DJI look alike 4K drone and for $16.99, but the drop down selector has “data cable” appended to the end. So that is all you would get for your $27 total price with shipping. The latest domain is hosted behind more cloudflare services with DNS servers at AWS. Complaints to those companies coming up.
While I cannot say with 100% certainty that the latest fake laser engraver ad I was shown on Facebook is tied to Ouyiec, it looks similar enough to share. In my previous post sometime ago about checking the reputation of FB advertisers, I was able to track down the advertiser ID for Lushionmart.com (https://www.facebook.com/ads/library/?active_status=all&ad_type=all&country=US&view_all_page_id=110175964468057&sort_data[direction]=desc&sort_data[mode]=relevancy_monthly_grouped) who was offering the laser. I almost want to say this is the original FB ad posted that enticed my to take a chance with my $30. When I follow the links and end up at the lushionmart.com web site, the items offered are a mixed bag of stuff. One item that caught my eye was a weather forecast station made by La Crosse Technology that looks similar to one I have. I shared the link with LaCrosse.
The latest ad shown to me from Facebook looked eerily similar to those of the past. This one linked to polaresale.com and had the same laser for $39.99. A paypal check said I would have made a payment to the “Linyi Mall Lianpin Department Store Operating” paypal seller account. This website appears to use shopify and doesn’t have drop down selections showing safety glasses or anything like that, but I doubt you are getting a $200+ laser engraver or anything of value for your $39.
polaresale.com\ – Same laser, same promo ad on FB, same scam $39. .Paypal payment recipient – “Linyi Mall Lianpin Department Store Operating”