So we’ve all been there. You post something on Facebook or even like something on someone else’s page and all of a sudden your feed is inundated with ads coinciding with your social media activity. Unfortunately, the majority of these ads are scams, offering things that seem to be too good to be true.
I don’t go on Facebook much but when I do, it’s to post a new blog or to check out the many Halloween pages I follow. Because of this my feed is loaded with Halloween things for sale. Amazing things. Cheap! For instance, I saw the exact same twelve foot skeleton that Home Depot sells for less than $30. I saw animatronics that Spirit sells for way below cost. How could these companies be doing this? Well, they can’t, and they don’t. It’s how they pull you in, hoping you take advantage of their amazing deals.
For this blog I am concentrating on one ad that appeared on my Facebook feed…a lot. In fact, on one day, it appeared every third post by a different seller! All offering this amazing werewolf mask at a steal. If you read my blogs than you know that when it comes to monsters, werewolves are one of my all time favorites. When I saw this mask I was completely blown away! The mouth opens and closes. With cables in the ears that run down to your hands you can make the ears move! Even the eyes glow in such a way as you would expect any nocturnal animals eyes to glow in a car’s headlights. To me, who is very particular about the way werewolf masks look, this is one of the best! Though I really wanted this mask I knew there was no way this exact mask was selling for $39.95. But, I really wanted to know what they were selling so I ordered one, figuring if I paid with PayPal I would be protected from a scam.
When these ads appear on Facebook there are clues to look for to know whether or not they are scams or not. First off is the obvious; if it’s too good to be true then it is. The next thing to look for is the comments below the ad. A pattern I noticed with this mask, being sold by so many different sellers, is that all of the comments were exactly the same! In fact, in less than ten minutes, I found no less than eleven users selling the exact same mask, including the one I actually bought from. Then, when you go to the actual website, you will see other clues. The big one is misspellings and wording that makes no sense. There is rarely any feedback on the item as well as all negatives are promptly removed. I have also noticed on ads for other products, there are times that pictures of different products will be shown representing the one supposedly for sale.
The one I ordered is from a seller going by the name “summertear.” The link to the actual ad is HERE and the price has been steadily going up since I purchased mine. I am anticipating that at any given time this ad may be taken down. I ordered the mask on September 28, got an order confirmation on October 6 and got a shipping confirmation on October 10. The company’s name is JINZHOU NETWORK TECHNOLOGY CO., LIMITED, and based on the tracking it was shipped from China. If you Google them, the scam reports are far and wide.
I followed the tracking diligently and on October 15 it showed it was left at my mailbox. Though I was at work, my girlfriend was home and said that no packages were delivered. I started to panic a little, wondering if perhaps someone driving by took it. By the time I got home the post office was closed so I called them the very next morning. What they told me was that the tracking number I was given went to a house a block away. Since the tracking number was one from China, I questioned what the chances were that this person got a package from the same company as I.
I went to the house and talked to the person living there. He said that he had gotten no packages addressed to me and that if he had, he would’ve driven it right over to my house. I contacted the post office again and they went into more detail, saying that the ship to address was not mine and that it was delivered correctly. Did this mean that JINZHOU NETWORK TECHNOLOGY gave me a fake tracking number? And if they did, what are the chances it was a package going a block from me? The mystery just kept getting weirder and weirder.
So I contacted the seller explaining what appeared to be happening. They got back to me within twelve hours, saying that they would look into it and get back to me. As of this writing it is October 22 and I heard back from them last on the 17th. All I really want is the mask to complete this blog and now everything is silent. I have filed a report with PayPal, giving the seller the opportunity to make good on things.
Almost immediately JINZHOU NETWORK TECHNOLOGY responded saying that the tracking says it was delivered so there was nothing they can do. I asked to see a copy of the shipping label to see who’s name and address was on it; so far there has been no reply and I escalated the complaint and now PayPal is hopefully handing it.
After doing some more research, there is a whole forum (14 pages worth) of people who were scammed by JINZHOU NETWORK TECHNOLOGY, many of which added that the tracking number provided was either fake or was delivered to another address.
So, where do I stand now? PayPal has contacted the seller and we are awaiting a reply. They have until November 5th to explain their side of the story. Thankfully I have a written statement by the Post Office stating that the tracking number I was given was indeed addressed to someone completely different. Wish me luck!
UPDATE (11/5/2020). My case is still being reviewed by PayPal. Though they heard back from the seller, they did not tell me what they said. It’d be nice to know so that I could give them the paper trail I have.
On another note, a friend and fellow mask collector, Scott Solomon actually received the werewolf mask! Not surprisingly it looks nothing like what was advertised and not only do the eyes not light up and the mouth doesn’t open, you cannot move the ears either! SHOCKER!
The final update is that PayPal decide in favor of Jinzhou Network. I immediately called them to talk to someone in person. I explained the situation again stressing that the United States Postal Service said that the tracking number provided was not addressed to me. Thankfully, the representative on the phone only needed a screenshot of this e-mail and they immediately reversed the decision.
On one final note, does anyone know who makes this amazing werewolf mask?