Service of Always Buy from a Website Not a Social Media Advert Link

August 12th, 2021

Categories: E-Commerce, E-tailing, Scams, Social Media, Theft

Image by Julien Tromeur from Pixabay

The kind of experiences I’m about to describe can’t be good for social media platform ad sales because it’s hard to tell the difference between the real ones and the scams. And if the brand is new to you, best check it out before buying so much as a toothpick.

I just found out that an order I’d placed with a reputable brand posting an ad on Facebook went, instead, to a thief as did my money. I was fooled by how the posting, models and clothes resembled the real thing and I didn’t take the step of getting off social media and on the Internet to find the website and order there. Credit card company notified–check–card cancelled–check–and lesson learned. I’ll never again attempt to buy anything from a commercial enterprise from a link on Facebook,  Instagram, Twitter or elsewhere.

At about the same time I checked out a product that interested me but did some research first. I found a Facebook entry from a burned customer which generated similar comments from countless others.

The man ordered fly strips for $21. He got a call from a woman saying the order didn’t go through asking again for his credit card number. She was aggressive in trying to sell him $79 worth of product and tossing all sorts of discounts at him.  He told her to cancel the entire order–he didn’t want anything.  By the next morning his PayPal account was nevertheless charged $101 and she’d put him on a recurring order plan.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Others responding to his comment warned that they never received anything from the company after months. One spent $300.

The PayPal rep told the writer to never give your phone number when placing an online order because it is usually linked to your bank account. I don’t know about that but I do know his first mistake was doing what I did: He bought product from a Facebook posting and in his case from an unknown vendor.

I am irritated at myself–as I am usually so careful–and hope that my bank catches the scoundrels. No wonder banks charge so much interest for their credit cards. It must cost a fortune to cover the money returned to their clients in the many instances they don’t catch and receive compensation from the culprits.

As I was about to publish this a young medical tech assistant told me his Apple pay digital wallet account was charged $8,000. He’d not spent a penny. Predators are out to get even the most savvy and wary.

Can you tell if a sponsored posting on a social media platform is real and/or if the company posting is reputable?

Image by TheDigitalWay from Pixabay
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14 Responses to “Service of Always Buy from a Website Not a Social Media Advert Link”

  1. BC Said:

    We mostly use Amazon or catalogs like Lands End. We never buy via link to anything. Do not go to links!

  2. Anonymous Said:

    I am sorry you got stung. I have one social media account that I use to visit with cousins I don’t often see and I don’t order through it: The ads are too annoying.

    The advice from the lady at PayPal is questionable: all the sites I have used to order online will not allow you to place an order without a phone number.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I learned my lesson–no links! I’m the only adult you know who does not use Amazon.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Thanks for debunking the PayPal customer service advice to the scammed member. There are few ways we can protect ourselves I guess.

    I always thought a vendor wanted my phone number so as to call me to verify my address should a package be returned. I am so naive.

  5. Hank Goldman Said:

    I agree with you.

    Please go to my super secret hidden website for more information –

    my apologies, this should not be a laughing matter. It’s quite serious! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    If we don’t laugh at so much that goes nuts these days we’ll go crazy!

  7. Martha Takayama Said:

    I don’t know how to tell the real merchant from a scammer on the various social media platforms you ist. I also have been scammed at least 3 times through Bank of America which has raised incompetence, failure to protect customers, failure to provide even a modicum of customer service all to the level of doctoral degree achievements. I cordially detest Amazon although I have used it occasionally to buy or sell books or get a household product. I know that it is virtually impossible to communicate in a satisfactory fashion with them to to adequately correct a problem. I had difficulty collecting payment for an art book shipped and delivered. Amazon chose to withhold my payment because a credit card on file for me had expired during the pandemic. I wasn’t shopping with them I forgot about replacing it. I have yet to understand with certainty if I
    was or wasn’t properly paid. I am mistrustful of e-commerce both for buying and selling.

  8. Anonymous Said:


    My bank, bless them, said it would look into the fraud, return my money and cancel my card after a quick call. I got a new card by FedEx two days later. It’s USAA.

    According to Forbes, “Richest Americans—Including Bezos, Musk And Buffett—Paid Federal Income Taxes Equaling Just 3.4% Of $401 Billion In New Wealth, Bombshell Report Shows”

    When Jeff Bezoz pays his fair share I might jump on the Amazon train.

    However, I’ve been on hold for over 40 minutes trying to reach one of the digital news sources that’s on auto pay to give them my new credit card number. I can only think that they discourage calls so they don’t get cancellations.

  9. Anonymous Said:

    This new media which provides enormous benefits to so many of us has created a lucrative environment for theft. So sad but one of the realities of life. Buyer Beware!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    And in my case Buyer Be Not Lazy and go to the source. [And I so needed that white linen blouse!]

  11. lucrezia Said:

    It never occurred to me to buy from a social media site, and limit purchases to tried & true businesses and recommendations from friends. It’s too bad there’s so much dishonesty on social media, since there are many honest entrepreneurs who sell there and suffer as a result. Then there’s some folks who aren’t business oriented. Just had that experience with a great store but the staff I dealt with clearly didn’t know what they were doing. I’m not out moneywise, but annoyed – and may not shop there again. They’re way too pricey for such aggravation!

  12. Eileen Dover Said:

    Never click on email, FB, any links, always go directly to the official website and make sure it has the lock sign on the browser. I check accounts for fraud and change passwords regularly. Use a low credit limit credit card for internet purchases.

    You should always shred everything that might have encrypted personal information…like boarding passes, luggage tags, hotel keycards. Those unused bank checks credit cards send in the mail for cash advances, new credit card offers, check all junk mail with personal information…shred them! Opt out, unsubscribe to everything you don’t want because they sell your information. Say NO, when the app asks if they can use your location when you’re not on it. And check your credit report regularly.

  13. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I’d written a few times about an artist who sells her greeting cards all over the country from her small store outside of Albany depending on social media platforms to help spread the word. She is precisely the kind of entrepreneur you mention who will be hurt by the scoundrels who ruin the experience, turning away potential customers for legitimate businesses.

    The shortage of low wage help means that many businesses accept their third or fourth choice candidates which may be why staff ruined your recent visit to a shop you like. Terrible for all concerned.

  14. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Great tips especially the low credit limit credit card but all the suggestions are essential–especially the one to go to the official website without exception.

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