This is a blog post I never thought I would have to write. I consider myself online savvy, aware of when things aren’t quite right and pretty smart. However the fact that I fell for a scam shows that it can happen to anyone. So often we are advised to talk to elderly relatives about scams, but it is so easy to fall for one yourself. Here is what happened.
I was on Facebook, doing some work and I was shown an advert for a stair slide. A slide which you put on your stairs to turn them into a fun and fast slide for kids. It’s perfect considering we get a lot of terrible weather here in the UK, so going to the park isn’t always ideal. An indoor slide, I thought, would be great for a Christmas gift for my three sons. The photographs were great, it looked good and I was busy so I ordered it, paid via PayPal and then continued with what I was doing.
Something Odd Happened
The item was supposed to be shipped from Hong Kong. Which is completely normal as a lot of places ship from over there. However five days after I had ordered, an unusual package arrived at the door. It was in my name, yet wasn’t anything I had ordered. The address it had been sent from was Birmingham. It was a kids pop up tent, which didn’t look very good quality. I hadn’t ordered this, my wife hadn’t ordered this however I put it aside in case a friend or family member contacted me about it, maybe saying they’d sent it as a gift for the kids. Soon, I quickly forgot all about it.
I Emailed About The Slide
Fast forward a few weeks as I was chatting about Christmas gifts and decided to chase up where this slide was. I sent an email, didn’t hear anything back from the company for a few days. So I looked into the correspondence I’d been sent via email and saw there was tracking info. I clicked through and it said that the item had been delivered. It made no sense as clearly it hadn’t. I quickly realised that I fell for a scam. The parcel that had been delivered from a company in Birmingham had the same tracking details on it that I had been given by this company for the stair slide.
What the scam company had done, was take my money, then order a cheap gift from a UK company to send to my address. They then put those tracking details into the information for what I had ordered. So the item had been delivered. This was the annoying step when I contacted PayPal about the situation. They said the item had been delivered and the scam company sent them the tracking details so everything looked above board. This is when I gathered my evidence, sent it over to PayPal and raised a claim.
I Was Thorough
I took photos of the tracking details on the parcel that arrived to show it matched up with the tracking details the company was claiming arrived. Photos of the item that arrived too. Then I searched online for stair slide scam and found that it had happened to other people. The proper stair slide company who launched their item on Kickstarter had even written about this scam doing the rounds. The scam company had lifted the official photos to make their scam seem more legit. I fell for a scam and felt like a fool. How was to going to get my money back?
I ended up getting an offer for a full refund, as long as I sent back the item. So I rang PayPal, who I’d spoken to a couple of times about it and they had been really helpful. I said I had had enough of the situation and wasn’t prepared to send this item which was sent from Birmingham, to the Hong Kong address the scam company were demanding. How was the scam seller dictating how this was playing out? Surely the PayPal Buyer Protection should cover me? I had to sign a legal document in the end, stating that the item that arrived was nothing like what I had ordered and my refund arrived within 90 minutes. I was one of the fortunate ones who managed to get a refund but I bet there will be lots of people who have lost money to this scam company.
Naming & Shaming
Part of the reason for writing up that I fell for a scam was to name and shame the company. It was Nabaika Trade Limited. That’s Nabaika Trade Limited, based out of Hong Kong. They are a scam company. I hope that putting the name on my blog will show people that it is a scam if they Google the name themselves. When I did that, there was nothing online about the company. Hopefully this will help others not fall into the same trap that I did. The name of the company had changed since the lady on Facebook had made her video so I fully expect it to change again.
The take away from this is that scams can happen to anyone. Don’t feel like a fool, just be sure you know who you are buying stuff from online. You might think that something is completely fine until it’s not. I fell for a scam and I never thought I would. Make sure you cover yourself when you buy items online by using methods of payment which give you protection. Christmas time can be a picnic for scammers with more people shopping online. Be sure to stay aware and stay safe.