The ‘Passion & Interest’ Scam Network – 190 websites
What is the ‘Passion & Interest’ Scam Network?
The ‘Uniqueness’ Scam Network is a huge web of Chinese scam websites that has been covered previously here on my blog as well as on Scamadviser in the form of an article as well as a video. Thanks to fellow scamfighter Suzie, I was able to unearth 190 more websites that are undoubtedly a part of the same scam network. They are all low-quality Shopify stores with stupid names like Printeffie, Pophomestyle, Duwishlife, Youpinwell and Cissweet that use the same template.
The scammers seem to have caught on and are trying to erase traces of the ‘uniqueness’ phrase from their new websites, but they seem to be a really lazy bunch. Instead of replacing the text completely, they have simply deleted the word ‘uniqueness’ from it. Websites in this scam network are still just as easy to spot though, as the ‘About Us’ pages of all the websites still have the following text:
we love every passion and interest on Earth because it is a reference to
Due to this, I have termed this network as the ‘Passion and Interest’ Scam Network. To be clear, it is nothing but an extension of the Uniqueness Scam Network. The full list of websites is given at the end of the article.
Another easy way to identify them is by checking the website footer and the Contact Us page. All these websites use the same few email addresses that are given below. Some of the websites even use more than one of these email IDs:
To confirm that they are indeed part of the same network, I gathered some data to establish a relationship between them. I found that out of the 190 unique websites that I found to be part of this network, 167 (88%) of the websites have shared IP addresses and 148 (78%) of these websites are using multiple email IDs from the list given above. This clearly shows that the websites all have a common origin.
Another thing they have in common is making their customers angry and frustrated. The websites are horribly-reviewed and generally have below-average ratings on websites like TrustPilot.
The complaints are the same regardless of which website they shopped on. The modus operandi of the scammers is to lure shoppers into buying their low-priced products through misleading Facebook ads. There is no indication given that the company is Chinese until the products are shipped. The packages take months to arrive and customers are left sorely disappointed to see that the delivered items resemble nothing like what was advertised.
These scammers have apparently mastered the art of exploiting PayPal’s refund policy, which requires that the product be shipped back to the seller in order to avail a refund. However, the cost of shipping the products back to China is often more than the cost of the product itself. Therefore, most people just give up and accept their loss.
If you see a Facebook ad offering an amazing product at an unbelievable price, you may be at risk of being the next victim of the ‘Passion & Interest’ scam network. Resist the temptation to buy from Facebook pages and websites you have never heard of, especially if they have dumb names like Shoppywise, Enrichgogo and Cotinilife. Scammers buy these nonsense domain names because they cost less, which is why you see many low-quality Chinese scam websites with gibberish names.
Always check the About Us and Contact Us pages to see if you can spot the phrase ‘we love every passion and interest on Earth because it is a reference to’ or any of the email IDs mentioned earlier.
To read about other scam networks, click here.
Full List of Websites that are part of the ‘Passion & Interest’ Scam Network:
How to Get Your Money Back from a Scam
Remember: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you have been the victim of an ecommerce scam, you can take the following steps:
- Lodge a complaint at the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal
- File a complaint with the payment portal and ask whether the payment can be reversed.
- File a complaint with the Consumer Complaints Forum
- Leave a negative review on review portals such as Scamadviser, TrustPilot, OnlineThreatAlerts and SiteJabber
- Report the website to Google using the Suspicious Site Reporter extension for Chrome
- Give a low rating to the website on Web of Trust. You can also install their extension for the same.
Disclaimer: This review is intended for information only and should not be relied on when making financial or business decisions. If you are a website owner and would like to provide clarifications regarding your business and/or website, please get in touch using the Contact Form.
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