A new scam has emerged on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, where scammers are using video ads and posts to promote fake jewelry websites offering an unbelievable “100% off” deal. These ads feature videos or posts supposedly from a disgruntled employee who is providing a special 100% off coupon code or citing some other dubious reason to offer luxury jewelry for free. But it’s nothing more than a scam tactic to steal personal information and money.
This article will provide an in-depth look at how this perplexing scam works, how to spot these fraudulent websites, what you can do if you have fallen victim to this coupon jewelry scam, and how to avoid being duped.
This Article Contains:
Overview of the 100% Off Coupon Jewelry Scam
This sophisticated scam operation preys on the very human tendency to jump at deals that seem too good to true. The scammers create professional-looking online jewelry stores offering extravagant jewelry like rings, bracelets, and necklaces for free with a special 100% off coupon code.
The scam store websites are promoted through TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram video ads that direct you to the site. The videos feature “employees” claiming to work for the jewelry company and leaking a coupon code that offers 100% off your purchase as “revenge” against their employer’s unethical business practices. Other videos tout celebrity endorsements and promotions offering 100% discounts.
If you land on the website and enter the coupon code during checkout, it does indeed show that your entire luxury jewelry purchase is 100% off. But you still have to pay seemingly negligible shipping and handling fees like $10-$20 dollars.
Unsuspecting victims enter personal information and credit card details to cover the shipping cost, not realizing that this directly leads to identity theft and fraudulent charges. The criminals have no intention of actually shipping any jewelry to you. The websites are quickly abandoned after they collect enough stolen financial data and personal information from the victims caught up in the ingenious scam.
Breakdown of the Scam Tactics
These fake jewelry websites deploy clever psychological tricks and persuasive social proof strategies to lend credibility to their unbelievable deals. Here is a breakdown of how they engineer this scam:
- Promotional TikTok, Facebook and Instagram video ads featuring “employees” offering secret coupon codes or special sales pitches to dupe viewers.
- Creating elegant, professional-looking ecommerce jewelry websites offering luxury items for free to convince visitors the business is legit. Using web design elements like high quality photos, engaging copy, apparent credibility markers (certificates, awards, press mentions etc.)
- Offering an unbelievable promotion like a 100% discount or 100% off coupon code for their expensive jewelry to entice visitors to engage. Using scarcity and urgency to prompt visitors to act fast.
- Requiring a small shipping fee payment during checkout to collect payment details even when jewelry itself is shown as 100% off. Gathering financial information is the real intent.
- Quickly abandoning websites after launching the scam campaign and collecting sufficient credit card details and personal info. Preventing victims from realizing they have been conned through slick site design and abrupt domain shutdown.
This scam operation exploits multiple vulnerabilities – the tendency to trust people, desire for status symbols, the fear of missing out on deals, and willingness to take a small risk for possibility of large rewards. These psychological factors combine to make this an extremely effective jewelry coupon scam.
How the Jewelry Coupon Scam Works
The scammers execute an intricately planned sequence of steps to successfully pull off this daring rip-off. Here is exactly how this jewelry coupon scam works and how average social media users get duped step-by-step:
Step 1: Creating Discounted Jewelry Website
Everything begins when the scammers decide to launch this lucrative scam campaign. First, they register a domain name for the phony online jewelry store. The domain name is designed to sound like a legitimate business – for example: bayjewelryshop.com or crownjewelco.com.
Next, the scammers design an ecommerce website selling expensive jewelry products like rings, pendants, earrings with photos stolen from other sites or stock imagery services to depict luxury items. The site incorporates trust markers like security badges, satisfaction guarantees, five-star reviews, press and media mentions indicating credibility.
But the website exudes legitimacy and authority at first glance. The scammers are relying on the fact that visitors will not investigate further under the enticement of a spectacular promotion.
Step 2: Producing Promotional Social Media Videos
After setting up the phony jewellry website as an impressive storefront, the scammers shift their attention to marketing. The only marketing channel they leverage is social media like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram since it allows targeted video ads. Creating FOMO is essential to bait unsuspecting victims.
The scammers produce slick social media videos endorsing the fake website as a credible business and highlighting an unbelievable 100% off coupon code deal. The videos either feature paid actors pretending to be company employees who are leaking the coupon code or showcase influencers fawning over jewelry products they received for review.
In both scenarios, viewers are compelled to immediately visit the site and take advantage of the purported life-changing coupon code or promotion before the company shuts it down. Creating this fear of missing out is crucial to ensnare victims. The ad videos portray an aura of trust, generosity and goodwill around the fake company.
Step 3: Promoting Jewelry Scam Website on Social Channels
In the next step, the fraudsters publish tons of their marketing videos as sponsored ads on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram targeting audiences who show affinity for jewelry and deals/discounts. They rely on FOMO psychology and influencer credibility to draw site visitors.
The Likes, Shares and Comments on these social media ads indicate high engagement further establishing legitimacy. User testimonials praising the coupon codes in response to the video ads strengthen perceived credibility. The scam company hence builds social proof rapidly fuelling greater interest.
Tens of thousands may view an ad video, a few thousand may visit the website, and a hundred or more fall into the trap filling the scammer need. Even a low conversion rate still nets enough victims given immense reach of social media apps.
Step 4: Entering Fake Coupon & Completing Checkout
When social media viewers click on the promotional ad videos, the next step launches them onto the fraud website itself. The site visually emphasizes banners highlighting the 100% off coupon promo.
When a visitor tries to purchase a piece of displayed luxury jewelry, it allows entry of the touted coupon code applying a 100% discount during checkout. The order total shows the dollar amount subtracted confirming legitimacy of the dramatic offer.
But there is still a shipping & handling charge between $10-$20 payable online before order completion. Most victims enter personal info like name, address and crucially credit/debit card information to cover this small fee.
Visitors are more easily deceived to part with the seemingly negligible shipping charge amount after witnessing the website honor the coupon’s enormous total discount value during checkout.
Step 5: Shutting Down Scam Website, Stealing Financial Data
In the final step, after running this intricate scam for several weeks and collecting valuable financial data like credit card numbers from numerous victims lured in by social proof and psychological tricks – the fraudsters disappear!
They shut down the fake coupon website, abandon associated social media accounts, and allow the web domain registration to expire quickly. With no way to contact the scammers through valid channels, victims slowly realize over the next few weeks that the order will never arrive.
But by this point, the scammers have already stolen and sold the personal and payment information submitted by victims during checkout on the fraudulent website. The victims are left dealing with the nightmare of handling identity theft, blocked funds, and fraudulent charges enacted using the stolen details.
This demonstrates how cleverly orchestrated scams prey on innocent social media users by exploiting human vulnerabilities instead of technical website weaknesses. The victims are completely unaware of the brewing fraud perpetrated brazenly through influence, psychology and social engineering.
Warning Signs of a Jewelry Coupon Scam
While the scam jewelry websites look exceedingly legitimate and persuasively market unbelievable coupon deals, some subtle red flags can indicate the website is not authentic. Learn to watch out for these signs of a shady jeweler operation:
- Website recently created and domain registered only weeks/months ago
- Offer seems too good to be true like 100% off coupons or similar
- No company details like business address, executive names, contact info
- No customer service – no phone number, live chat, or email contacts
- No order tracking system and unclear estimated delivery timeframe
- Limited payment options only supporting credit cards or Paypal
- Checkout payment page not secured – no “https” or lock icon visible
- No observable social media pages for company outside of promotional ads
- No transparent online reviews for company or unusual review patterns
- Spelling/grammatical errors and typos throughout the site
While each red flag alone may not firmly indict a company, collectively the above signs are good indicators you have encountered a counterfeit jeweler operation running a coupon scam. Exercise extreme caution if you detect multiple such website shortcomings.
How to Spot This Jewelry Coupon Scam on Facebook
Facebook’s enormous user base and powerful ad targeting capabilities make it a prime ground for scammers to promote fake jewelry deals. Here is how to recognize this 100% off coupon scam if encountered on Facebook:
Look for ads in your feed featuring too-good-to-be true offers like “100% off diamond rings” or “employee coupon codes for luxury watches.” The videos will showcase gimmicks like disgruntled staff revealing corporate secrets or influencers unboxing free gifted products.
Investigate the ad poster and landing website carefully before engaging. Search for the website name plus words like “review,” “scam,” or “complaint” to find other reports.
Watch for newly created Facebook pages with minimal content unrelated to jewelry and no evidence of real community interaction. Verified blue check badges can also be forged.
Evaluate the ad engagement critically. Scammers use bots and fake accounts to generate comments praising the deal under their posts to manufacture credibility. The hype seems constructed.
Only enter personal or payment data on websites after thoroughly verifying legitimacy of the company through objective independent searches. Confirm secure checkout pages before submitting info.
How to Detect This Scam on Instagram
Scammers leverage Instagram’s visual nature and influencer culture to create glossy ads for fake jewelry coupon deals. Here is how to spot related Instagram scam posts:
Look for unbelievable coupon promotions in Instagram Stories or feed posts from accounts focused on discount codes and freebies rather than jewelry brands.
Accounts may use handles with variations of luxury jewelry store names even when no official account relationship exists. User bios lack sufficient identifying details about the actual company.
Hunt for verification markers like real followers count, comments history, account longevity and appropriate branding in names/logos before trusting giveaway posts as authentic affiliate partnerships.
If you click an Instagram ad link promising deep discounts, scrutinize the website thoroughly for missing contact info, privacy policies, or indicators of an amateur operation before entering any sensitive user data.
Search for offical brand social media accounts completely separately to confirm authorized status of any handle running coupon code promotions. Cross-verify Instagram account legitimacy.
How to Recognize This TikTok Jewelry Scam
TikTok is filled with ads promising free high-value products, making it a hotbed for scammers misusing coupon codes. Here is how to stay vigilant:
Watch for TikTok accounts repeatedly uploading videos about unbelievable employee discounts or coupon codes for obtaining expensive jewelry items completely free.
The videos rely on tactics like fake testimonials, inflated before-after comparisons, and high-pressure commentary insisting followers use codes before they expire or company legal teams intervene.
Check video captions for website links and search them online adding “scam” or “review” queries to uncover low trust signals, limited operating history and consumer complaints indicating shady operators misrepresenting coupon benefits.
If you do visit an unknown jewelry website through any TikTok video link, thoroughly vet site security, payment protections, company background, shipping/return policies first before entering any private data or checkout payment information regardless of advertised coupon code deals.
What to Do If You Are a Victim of Coupon Jewelry Fraud
Despite the careful cunning deployed in this jewelry scam, many smart social media users still inevitably get fooled and lose money or personal data. If you discover you were scammed by an unbelievable coupon code deal, here are the steps to take immediately for damage control:
Step 1: Contact Banks & Credit Card Companies
If you entered any financial information including debit/credit card data during checkout on the fraudulent website, your first priority is contacting those banking institutions.
Inform your credit card provider of the scam and request replacement cards with new card numbers to prevent additional fraudulent charges. Also contact your bank to monitor your checking account activity for further suspicious withdrawals.
Placing this phone call quickly can freeze compromised financial accounts before the scammers sell off your payment data on dark web marketplaces to other criminal elements.
Step 2: Check Credit Reports Regularly
Identity thieves typically leverage stolen personal details like your name, birth date and address to also access and wreck your credit standing by taking out loans in your name.
So you must pull your credit reports frequently across the 3 bureau agencies – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax after scam exposure. Review the detailed reports carefully checking for any unfamiliar credit applications, account openings or loan requests enacted without your permission.
Getting scammed warrants a full credit health check-up to detect all impacts of potential identity theft. Signing up for credit monitoring services can regularly deliver alerts on report changes too.
Step 3: Notify Local Police Department
You should file an official scam incident complaint with your nearest local police station or county sheriff’s department to leave a formal record.
Provide all related details like the fraud website domain, social media account usernames behind the scam, and the provided 100% off coupon code itself used during checkout. Also provide any order confirmation emails received if applicable.
This police complaint will prove useful when disputing unauthorized charges made by scammers on compromised financial accounts or erroneous entries added to credit reports.
Step 4: Report Scam to Government Consumer Protection Agencies
To prevent the same jewelry coupon scam from duping other trusting social media users, you should alert key consumer protection authorities to prompt potential crackdown:
- Report the scam website, domain, social media accounts, and business names to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via the formal complaint assistant portal available on their website.
- File a scam tip with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) managed by the FBI and National White Collar Crime Center. Add all scam website and payment details.
- Submit a fraud complaint form to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) outlining how the coupon tactic was used to execute unlawful charges. Provide domain registrar info.
- Contact your regional consumer affairs authority along with state attorney general’s office to report digital retail fraud with pertinent scam specifics.
Getting authorities involved can expose shady domain registrars catering to scammers and compel social media platforms to screen dodgy advertisers more strictly. Preventing further victimization is instrumental.
How to Avoid Falling Victim to Jewelry Coupon Scams
This expertly orchestrated social scam delivers such a strong illusion of authenticity that even smart folks with skeptical wiring can get lured by the phony coupon websites. Here are crucial precautions you must take to avoid getting duped:
- Critically examine website for missing credibility signals – customer service availability, business address listings and leadership team information before providing any sensitive information.
- Search online for company name combined with words like “scam”, “fake” or “fraud” to find other complaints that have been reported.
- Only make purchases from reputable jewelry retailers that have an established brand presence, both online and locally, that can be verified.
- Check third-party review sites to see ratings, reviews and feedback posted by other customers of the company. But also watch out for fake reviews.
- Avoid entering personal and financial data on websites you don’t absolutely trust, regardless of promotions advertised. Be very selective.
- Examine the URL carefully on checkout pages to ensure connection is secure before entering card information. Look for “HTTPS” and lock icon.
- Resist the urge to act instantly on unbelievable coupons or deals without scrutinizing legitimacy first via objective research. Temper emotional excitement with logic.
- Use a virtual disposable credit card service or authenticated payment platform like Paypal when forced to buy from an uncertain merchant. Don’t expose real payment cards.
The promise of valuable goods for phenomenally discounted prices exploits mental flaws. But adopting a guarded stance, and verifying credibility before getting invested can insulate against catastrophic injury from the clever 100% coupon scam.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Jewelry Coupon Scam
Consumers targeted by fake promotions for free luxury jewelry often have similar pressing concerns. Here are answers to the top frequently asked questions regarding this pervasive online scam:
Are the unbelievable 100% off jewelry deals I see on social media for real?
Unfortunately deals that seem too good to true usually are. The 100% off coupon codes for expensive jewelry promoted through TikTok/Facebook/Instagram video ads are a scam tactic used to steal personal and payment data. No seller provides $200+ products entirely free.
How can I recognize if a jewelry website is fake or a scam operation?
Investigate beyond glossy images/videos and analyze site crediblity indicators – company history, executives listed, real customer reviews, valid contact info, longevity in business registration databases. Cross-check website promises against jeweler industry norms.
I entered payment card and address information on a website offering 100% off jewelry after applying their coupon code. What should I do now?
Contact your credit card provider and bank immediately to halt payments on those card numbers and monitor closely for fraudulent charges. Check credit reports regularly for signs of wider identity theft stemming from the initial scam website data breach.
Can I get my money back or return any shipped items after realizing I got scammed by a fake 100% off jewelry coupon code?
Unfortunately once payment card details are entered on scam websites, funds are rarely recoverable since sites shut quickly after enough victims get ensnared. Return shipping non-existent items is also impossible – caution is the only long-term protection.
What penalties do scammers face for creating elaborate fake jewelry e-commerce stores and promoting them through social media coupon ads?
Marketplace platform sanctions, account deletions, website shutdowns, and ad policy violations constitute likely repercussions faced by scammers from the social media companies themselves. Stricter legal charges are rare currently.
Staying vigilant against unbelievable online jewelry coupon deals until website legitimacy is irrefutably established remains the only reliable means of evading this devastating, globally impacting scam.
The Bottom Line
The online domain offers an ideal setup for scam artists to create seemingly authentic jewelry websites with unbelievable coupon code deals promoted persuasively using social media ads. Psychologically manipulated victims get duped into providing sensitive information and payment data.
By understanding the cunning mechanisms underpinning this elaborate scam operation, social media users can equip themselves to interpret warning signals correctly and avoid getting defrauded. Seeking recourse quickly after scam exposure can also limit resulting identity theft and financial fraud severity.
The only way this criminal jewelry coupon scam campaign ends is if their brilliantly designed websites consistently fail to capture enough victims. Maintaining vigilance against unbelievable deals and resisting the immense pull of powerful psychological biases that work against you is key.
With time, greater public awareness about this scam modus operandi will compel social platforms and regulatory agencies to crack down harder on dubious jewelry retailers. But staying continually cautious when encountering extraordinary online discount promotions remains essential forever.