Ripped off by dodgy scam website
Thank you for the advice :) xx

I wondered if anyone had any practical advice. My Ma was helping someone out by ordering some Pandora charms for them to give as a Christmas gift, and she ordered from this site: ... a-jewelers

I think she realised her mistake a while afterwards and has contacted me in obvious distress. She see’s it as ‘her fault’ so will swallow the cost, but she has no money, so that’ll be a mess. So... is there anything she can do, in practical terms?

The charge is pending. She paid by debit card. She phoned Halifax to see if they could stop the payment, they said no. I asked if she could move all of the money to another account, but she said she can’t move the amount reserved for the pending transaction.

Ask Halifax about "Chargeback" - I've been able to get a debit card purchase from a dodgy site refunded - ... hargeback/
It did take a while though - I had to wait a certain amount of time after the goods never arrived and confirm that the site would not refund me.
Thank you. I’ve sent her the link and told her that it’s by no means an immediate fix, but it’s something. I’m trying to send her the money to cover her over Christmas (it’s not, to many, a huge amount (£41), but that’s an absolutely huge amount to someone below the poverty line), but she dicks around sending it back and we end up like my Nan & Great Aunt who used to stand on the threshold for an hour straight pushing crumpled fivers at each other, arguing who was going to cover the cost of the Sunday lunch we’d all eaten.

Your families all did that too, right?
It being paid with a debit card also makes me think it'd be a good idea to contact the bank and arrange a new card. Could easily be cloned.
I think that’s a good idea. I’ll drop her a line to that effect.
Lady T did something similar - she ordered a Lego Voltron for some ridiculously low price from a site that had been shared on Facebook, and they sent some craptastic 'nano block' panda model instead and then claimed stocking mixups etc. They did the exact same thing to Lady T's best friend too, as they had both placed orders around the same time, so it was obviously scammy and intentional rather than a genuine mistake.

After a lot of back and forth and going nowhere we had to just give up. I hope your mum fares better than we did, but be prepared for some hassle either way.
Oh, I don’t believe that my mother will receive *anything* (and a Google around seems to support this). I hope she’ll try, but it seems like a definite loss for the immediacy in which she’ll struggle at Christmas and stupidly refuse any help because she’s decided to blame herself rather than the scam artists that set these sites up.

Ma spoke to someone at Halifax today. I managed to find the payment handler that the site uses to confirm that it was involved in fraudulent activity (rather than a fraudulent website using a legit card handler) ... ne-stores/

Ma spoke to a chap at The Halifax who at least was a little more helpful. They’ve cancelled her card and reissued a new one with new numbers, plus they put her through to the fraud team who have given her a reference. She has to wait until Christmas Eve to confirm she hasn’t received anything (or legitimate goods) and then they’ll see if they can do anything from them.

It’s proper knocked her confidence though, and she’s very shaken and upset, and she thinks she’s an idiot. She’s not. It looks like loads of people have been caught out by the same site but she is very much in the ‘I’m a stupid old woman’ frame of mind at the moment :(
Sorry to hear what happened to your Ma, Mimi. They've done a good job in making the site look legit, so she's certainly not an idiot.
Agreed, it was totally reasonable to believe that was the correct site. However, she should probably have a rethink of doing such favours in the future - as has been demonstrated here, she's taken on all the financial risk herself when there aren't really any reasons why she would need to be ordering this stuff on behalf of someone else as a favour, are there?
Honestly Craster, no, I don’t think there are any real reasons other than that she tries to be too helpful to too many people and those people are lazy and so use that to their advantage. The person in question has a bank account and payment cards of their own, and even if it were that they were having trouble choosing a specific gift from a selection and wanted her advice on which to choose, they could absolutely still have made the purchase themselves. Unfortunately, because she wouldn’t want to burden them (and likely also partly because she feels embarrassed) she won’t even tell them what’s happened.
Zardoz wrote:
Sorry to hear what happened to your Ma, Mimi. They've done a good job in making the site look legit, so she's certainly not an idiot.

Thank you. I agree, also. I’ve told her things to this effect, but I think she believes I’m just saying that to make her feel better, so I’ve sent her a screenshot of what you and Craster said. :)
Oooh, confession time. I fell for the exact same website, for roughly the same reasons. Someone asked me to order a Pandora charm via a link and I just blindly did it.

A few minutes after paying, I noticed that the confirmation email looked off. I smacked myself in the head for being an idiot and immediately rang the bank's fraud team. They knew the website name before I'd even finished saying it. I was told that they will usually send something to anyone who buys from them, wait for the person to complain that the wrong item has been sent then try and tie you up in admin so you'll give up. The bank told us to wait for the item to arrive (it was a pretty nice faux silk scarf!) and then they could recover the cost via their "item not as described" process.

It took about 3 weeks, but the money was returned.
Thank you! That’s really good to know so much Ma knows what to expect (from the site, I mean) and then hopefully the bank might be understanding.

Sorry that happened to you. I’m surprised if it’s so well known that banks don’t stop payments progressing to it.
The problem is that the website would eventually give you a refund if you pushed hard enough and some people have been successful, but they make it so hard that most people won't bother for a few quid. Especially when the banks will write it off.

It helps that they're based in China and basically tell UK law to fuck off.
Yeah, MrsA bought some Kanken bags from a dodgy website. Luckily, we got the money back from Nationwide, and then the bags arrived! They were not Kanken bags.

It isn't an uncommon occourance and there's no need to feel bad over it.
We bought a totoro advent calendar from a dodgy website - it was meant to be a little plastic totoro behind every door.

What arrived was a bag of half a dozen totoros, no calendar.

Which was a great disappointment, as it looked lovely. Mini Fop was still happy though - she's got six tiny Totoros!
Oh, that was advertised pretty heavily to Russell, and I think he was quite tempted, but doubt made him think it was likely too good to be true. Nice to know that the figures are still lovely, but angry at those sites clearly being very abundant now.
Mimi wrote:
but angry at those sites clearly being very abundant now.

Yes indeed, it's quite tiring having to be constantly on guard against being tricked or misled, and not just for myself but for Lady T too (that is to say, i have to keep an eye out so that she doesn't fall for something).

It's very easy to fall for these things - I almost did when I saw a cool leather jacket advertised cheaply but when I googled for the shop name it rang some alarm bells. For some time after, my FB feed would show adverts from all differently named shops but the same jackets and "end of line BUY IT NOW 4 CHEAPZ B4 its gone" style of message trying to rush people into that fear of missing out and then getting carried away.

It does make me feel at times like I'm becoming a grumpy old cynic, it's an almost constant distrust.
A surprise ending to this story: Ma kept on and on and on emailing them and they’ve refunded her. The refund is £1.72 short (which as Russell said, if they process enough of they still get a profit) but she’s happy, and it’s back in time to go towards Christmas.
Take that as a good result! Please tell Ma Mimi not to do favours for lazy friends again x
That's a pretty good outcome really - I'm glad it's resolved.

I don't wish to sound harsh but there are some lessons here too. You poor mum tho, I imagine the whole thing was very stressful
It was, and I have told her. I think it’s a lesson. Hard learned, but she’s I think going to be a bit more mindful.
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