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.