Friday, March 10, 2017

This is a short blog to expose my naiveté and also to warn others.
I wanted to get a drone.  I read a number of reviews and finally selected the make and model I felt would be good for me.  It had a video camera with good resolution, excellent range, and an automated take off and landing setting.  Perfect for the novice pilot.

I checked on several places to buy it on line. On Amazon, I found a third-party seller who had a good price.  It also had a place to click for more  technical details.  I clicked on that link, read all the details and decided to make the purchase.  They required an Amazon Gift Card to pay for it.  I secured the gift card and gave them the information.  Delivery should be in a few days.
A few days passed and then some more.  I was not worried.  To my mind, I had purchased this through Amazon and I knew I could trust Amazon.  When more days passed, I started checking further.  But now, I could not find the ad on Amazon. Nor in all of the various emails related to this purchase could I  find a telephone number for this vendor.

When I finally got through to an actual person at Amazon, they asked me if I had purchased it through their shopping cart.  Well, not exactly.  Had I gotten off their site to make the purchase?  I tried to visualize what I had done. I had clicked on a link in this ad. It had taken me to another page which looked like it could have been from Amazon - maybe.  But I was looking for the technical information and not at that point concerned with other details.

It seemed I had actually left the Amazon site and gone to a site that was a scam. 

When I asked about the Amazon Gift Card and could it be checked, the answer was no.  There are Internet sites where Amazon Gift Cards are sold at a discount.  That is, someone gives you an Amazon Gift Card you do not want. So, you go to this Internet site and sell it at a discount to someone who really wants such a card.

The money had flown but no drone would come flying in anytime, soon or otherwise.

Since I had (inadvertently) left Amazon. They were out of the picture.  My objection at this point was that Amazon should vet third-party sites they allow to sell, or at least advertise, on the Amazon site.

Plain and simple, I was scammed.  Perhaps I should put this down as "Educational Expense."  Let's hope that bit of tuition pays off in avoiding scammers in the future.


Linda Thorne said...

Being scammed never feels good. It's not just that you were robbed of your money, you feel duped, suckered. It's not fun. So many scammers these days.

Liane Spicer said...

Good heavens! They think up a new one every day! Thanks for sharing so we can try to avoid this one.

James R. Callan said...

You are dead right, Linda. I definitely felt I was a sucker. I've seen so many stories about Internet scams. I though I was too clever to fall victim. Stupid me. My wife, when I had not received it in a timely fashion, asked about it - was it a scam? I said, No. It was from Amazon. But of course, it wasn't. Lesson learned - I hope. Thanks for the comment.

James R. Callan said...

Liane, you are too conservative. They think up hundreds every day. But I did want to tell people to be careful with third party buys on Amazon. You must use Amazon's shopping cart. And don't send the vendor an Amazon gift card number. Thanks for the comment. jim