A widespread scam has infiltrated Facebook, enticing users with the promise of ‘Nike sneakers under $30’ and discounts of up to 80% off at the ‘Factory Store’. These ads claim to offer more than 1000+ styles of sneakers at unbelievably low prices. However, don’t be fooled by the allure of a perfect outfit; this is a trap worth avoiding.
This Article Contains:
Overview of the ‘Nike Sneakers Under $30’ Scam
The ‘Nike Sneakers Under $30’ scam operates by mimicking an official sales campaign from Nike, claiming to offer their products at incredibly steep discounts, sometimes as high as 85-90%. The scam leverages digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram to entice potential victims, duping them into believing they’re participating in a legitimate Nike sale when in fact they’re being tricked.
The scammers utilize social media advertising to promote their counterfeit operations. Ads often include phrases like “Last 3 Days, 85% OFF Everything” or “Clearance Sale! Up to 90% OFF” to instill a sense of urgency and convince shoppers they’re getting an unbelievable bargain on Nike shoes.
These ads are carefully designed to seem legitimate. They use Nike’s trademarked logos, brand images, and promotional language. The scam pages mimic the look and feel of real Nike websites and ads. This makes it very difficult for the average user to discern they’re being targeted by a scam.
How the Ads Reach Facebook Users
The ads are served through Facebook’s advertising platform and can reach users’ feeds in a variety of ways:
- Scammers set up Facebook ad campaigns designed to target users who have shown interest in Nike products and similar athletic apparel brands. Using Facebook’s detailed interest and demographic targeting options, they can hone in on the users most likely to engage with the ads.
- The ads may appear in Facebook’s Suggested Posts section, which surfaces content similar to posts a user recently engaged with. If a user frequently interacts with content related to athletic clothing and shoes, the algorithm may serve them the scam ads.
- Users who follow influencers or accounts related to fitness, fashion, and sports may see the ads in their feed through Facebook’s algorithmic recommendations.
- The ads can be shared by other Facebook pages and profiles. Some scam operations create fake profiles to share their ads and lend credibility.
- Through Facebook’s detailed targeting tools, scammers can also retarget ads to users who have previously engaged with their content or visited their websites. So even if you don’t click through the first time, you may continue seeing the ads across Facebook.
In essence, the scammers take advantage of the platform’s targeted advertising capabilities to display their ads to users vulnerable to their manipulative messaging. It only takes a few thousand impressions for the ads to seem familiar, legitimate, and tempting.
Scam Websites Designed to Deceive
Upon clicking the Facebook ad, the victim is redirected to a website designed to look like a legitimate Nike outlet store. Great effort goes into making the pages seem authentic, often copying and mimicking real Nike sites.
These sites generally display hundreds of Nike shoes and apparel at unbelievably low prices – $20, $25, $30 – discounts of up to 90% off retail prices. The pages use Nike’s trademarks, logos, and brand images.
The website asks for credit card and personal information upfront under the guise of processing orders and shipments. However, the goods are never shipped. The customer service contacts provided are fake, often linking back to other scammy websites.
These deceitful sites are cleverly designed to avoid detection:
- The domain names often contain the words “Nike” or “Factory Store”, e.g. nikesfactorystore.com or nikeoutletshop.com. This makes them appear credible on first glance.
- The sites are given longevity by frequently changing domain names. If one gets discovered as fraudulent, they switch domains and carry on.
- Contact information is rarely legitimate. Email addresses route through scam domains rather than traceable providers. There are no legitimate social media accounts or company information.
- WhoIs information is masked through domain privacy services so owners’ info can’t be traced.
- Sites disappear frequently, only to pop back up with a new look and domain.
- No valid business licenses, certificates of authenticity, or identification can be found.
By frequently shifting domains and vanishing quickly, the scammers minimize the risk of being caught or held accountable. From the outside, their operation looks like an ever-changing maze impossible to track or shutdown.
How the ‘Nike Sneakers Under $30’ Scam Actually Works
Now that we’ve explored the scam’s deceptive marketing tactics and misleading websites, let’s break down exactly how the fraud is perpetrated:
1. Bait Customers with Social Media Ads
The first step is runningManipulative Facebook ads promising unbelievable savings on Nike shoes. Using Nike’s branding and imagery, the ads tout deals like “85% off Everything” and “Nike Shoes Under $30”. Targeting tools ensure the ads are shown to users interested in athletic apparel.
2. Drive Traffic to Scam Websites
When users click the compelling ads, they are funneled to sophisticated scam websites dressed up to look like official Nike outlets. The sites feature all the expected branding, logos, and imagery. Hundreds of Nike shoes are displayed at heavily discounted prices.
3. Collect Financial and Personal Information
The scam websites ask for credit card information, billing addresses, and sometimes even government ID numbers under the pretense of processing orders and shipments. However, this sensitive data goes straight into the hands of scammers.
4. Fail to Deliver Promised Products
Victims complete their purchases expecting steeply discounted Nike shoes to arrive soon after. However, the products are never shipped. Any customer service contacts provided are fake – usually just routing to other scam websites.
5. Disappear and Repeat
The scammers collect all payments and personal information provided before quickly vanishing. They shut down websites and social media pages, then reopen under new domains with the same scam. Rinse and repeat continuously to maximize revenue.
So in summary, this fraud extracts money and personal data from victims through deceptive social media marketing and fake ecommerce websites promoting Nike shoes at unrealistic prices. Tens of thousands likely fall victim considering the scam’s massive reach on Facebook.
What You Should Do If You Fall Victim to This Scam
If you unfortunately fell for the ‘Nike Sneakers Under $30’ scam, here are the steps you should take right away to limit the damage:
1. Contact Your Bank or Credit Card Company
Immediately call your bank or credit card company’s fraud department if you purchased from the scam website using a debit or credit card. Report the charges as fraudulent. Request that payments be reversed and new cards issued if credentials were compromised.
Banks can attempt to stop payments before processing. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you have protections for disputing fraudulent charges on credit cards. Debit card protections vary based on how quickly fraud is reported. Move quickly as timeliness is critical.
Provide any information you have – website, order details, etc. – to aid the fraud investigation. Make sure to request written confirmation that your dispute is being investigated.
2. Place Fraud Alerts on Your Credit Reports
Potential identity theft should also be addressed if you shared personal information. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get your reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Look for any accounts or inquiries you don’t recognize.
Place 90-day fraud alerts with each bureau to prevent thieves from opening new accounts. Alerts require potential creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before extending new credit. Continually monitor your reports over the next year for suspicious activity.
3. Reset Account Passwords
Think of any existing online accounts that used the same credentials you entered on the scam website. Passwords should be changed immediately on accounts with retailers, social platforms, email providers, or financial institutions.
Enable two-factor authentication wherever possible for an extra account security layer. Avoid reusing passwords across multiple accounts. Consider a password manager app to keep credentials organized and unique.
4. Report the Scam
To try preventing others from falling victim, report the scam website, social media pages, and associated accounts. Provide screenshots, order details, and any website/domain information.
You can file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission, Facebook, Instagram, Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), Better Business Bureau, and Nike. Submit copies of confirmation emails, fraudulent charges, and communications. The more evidence provided, the better chances of getting scam domains and accounts shut down.
5. Learn from This Experience
While being scammed feels terrible, take it as a lesson for identifying and avoiding similar scams in the future. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, especially on social media. Research unfamiliar brands and retail websites before providing payment information.
When shopping online, stick to well-known, reputable sellers with working customer service channels. If you enter payment information, double check site security features like “https” URLs or padlock icons. Don’t believe urgent calls to action like “Limited Time Deals”. Save details, screenshot suspicious pages, and always trust your gut.
How to Identify and Avoid ‘Nike Sneakers Under $30’ Scams
Here are key warning signs to help users identify and avoid falling victim to these pervasive ‘Nike Sneakers Under $30’ scams on social media:
Look for Red Flags in the Ads
- Claims of “50-90% off” or “Under $30” for brand-new Nike shoes likely indicate a scam. Nike does not make such offers.
- Grammatical/spelling errors and sentences that sound robotic or awkward can signal foreign scammers.
- Links use odd URLs with excessive tracking parameters instead of clean Nike domains. They may also use link shorteners.
- Check for comments calling out the scam, though scammers often delete them.
- No blue verification checkmark appears on the ad account name. Nike’s official accounts are verified.
Research Suspicious Websites Thoroughly
- Search for reviews of unfamiliar online sellers – scams should be called out.
- Do reverse image searches on product photos, which may be lifted from other sites.
- Look up the website domain registration details through WhoIs lookup tools. Recently registered, foreign, and private domains are red flags.
- Check for valid contact info like a working customer service phone number and email, physical addresses, and professional social media pages.
- Search the company name online looking for legtimate records, licenses, business registrations, and certifications.
Exercise Caution Entering Payment Details
- Verify site security like “https” URLs and lock icons before entering information. “http” or a broken lock icon mean your data could be intercepted.
- Do not provide credit card or personal information without thoroughly vetting the company first.
- Use a credit card when shopping online – debit cards do not provide the same fraud protections and make retrieving funds more difficult.
- Avoid entering unnecessary data like government IDs, social security numbers, or full birth dates.
Trust Your Instincts
If an offer seems unrealistic or too good to be true, proceed with the assumption it’s a scam. Don’t let satisfying your desire for a bargain outweigh logical skepticism.
When in doubt, search online for others’ experiences, consult scam identification resources, or just avoid the risk altogether. Saving a few dollars isn’t worth falling victim to fraud.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ‘Nike Sneakers Under $30’ scam?
This is a widespread scam where fraudsters run ads on Facebook and Instagram advertising Nike shoes for unbelievably low prices, like $30 or less. The ads claim to offer discounts up to 90% off and direct users to fake ecommerce sites that further promise steep discounts on Nike products. However, it’s a scam designed to steal credit card and personal information.
How does the scam work?
The scam works by first baiting users with social media ads for the fake deals. Once clicked, the ads send users to sophisticated fake sites that ask for financial and personal information to process orders. However, no products are ever shipped. The scammers collect payments and data before disappearing quickly and reopening under new domains to repeat the process.
What are some red flags I can look for?
Warning signs include prices that seem too good to be true, poor grammar/spelling in ads, odd URLs, no verification checkmark on ad accounts, recently registered domains, broken security features on sites, lack of valid business info or certifications, etc.
What should I do if I already provided my information?
Immediately contact your bank and credit card companies to report fraudulent charges and potentially have a new card issued. Put fraud alerts on your credit reports and check for any suspicious activity. Change passwords on any accounts that may have used compromised credentials. Report the scam to try and get fraudulent pages shut down.
How can I avoid these scams?
Always thoroughly research unfamiliar sellers and be skeptical of offers that seem unrealistic. Check site security before entering info and stick to official retailers. Don’t provide unnecessary personal information. Use credit cards for added protection. Trust your instincts – if it seems like a scam, it likely is.
Are these scams illegal? Can I report them?
Yes, these scams are illegal and can be reported to various entities like the FTC, Facebook, IC3, BBB, etc. Provide as many details as possible like screenshots and domain names. Reporting helps get scam accounts and sites removed.
How can I buy Nike shoes safely online?
Stick to well-known retail sites like Nike.com, the official Nike app, Foot Locker, Dick’s, Champs Sports, JD Sports, etc. Nike also sells products through some department stores online. Always verify legitimate contact info and security features on sites.
In summary, the ‘Nike Sneakers Under $30’ scam is running rampant on Facebook, luringunsuspecting victims with seemingly amazing deals. Scammers leverage social media marketing and fake ecommerce websites promoting steep Nike discounts.
Once credit card information and personal data is collected, they vanish without delivering promised products. Changing domains and social accounts enables them to repeat the process endlessly.
Fall victim, and you’ll be stuck disputing fraudulent charges while protecting your identity from potential theft. Avoid the major headache by watching for red flags in ads and websites and never supplying payment or personal details unless fully confident in the legitimacy of sellers. Don’t let unbelievable prices blind you – if it seems too good to be true, it almost always is.