Online shopping scams are nothing new, but a recent influx of fraudulent advertisements for the ‘Dick’s Warehouse Sale’ on social media demonstrates how easily unsuspecting consumers can be duped. This detailed guide will uncover how the Dick’s Warehouse scam works, help you identify signs of the fake sale, provide steps if you fell victim, and give advice to avoid retail scams in the future.
This Article Contains:
Overview of the Dick’s Warehouse Sale Scam
A far-reaching scam promotion for a fake “Dick’s Warehouse Sale” has recently plagued social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Fraudulent sponsored ads promise once-in-a-lifetime savings of up to 90% off at an imaginary clearance event. However, this phony sale does not actually exist in any form.
These viral ads are a complete sham orchestrated by scammers to financially defraud consumers and steal personal data. When unsuspecting users click on the promotions, they are redirected to convincing fake e-commerce sites that proceed to scam in one of several ways:
- Many victims report their credit cards being charged for items that are never shipped. The sites collect payment information but have no actual merchandise or intention fulfill orders placed through them.
- In some cases, victims received low-quality counterfeit goods rather than the genuine products advertised and pictured. For example, fake Air Jordan shoes made with subpar materials, or wallets and handbags mimicking designer brands like Michael Kors or Kate Spade.
- Some unfortunate victims reported receiving used, damaged or tampered merchandise clearly not equivalent to the new condition items pictured in the ads. For example, filthy used sneakers instead of box-fresh Nike’s.
- Additionally, some orders arrive completely incorrect – shoppers received random cheap items like plastic toys rather than the basketball shoes or fitness gear they ordered.
In all scenarios, the victims ended up scammed out of their money without receiving the quality name-brand merchandise prominently advertised in the promoted social media ads.
On top of selling sham goods or nothing at all, these fraudulent sites also harvest users’ personal and financial data during checkout, including:
- Full legal names
- Home addresses
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Credit card numbers
- Security codes and expiration dates
This highly sensitive personal and financial information goes directly into the hands of scammers to misuse through means like identity theft, phishing scams, and hacking attempts.
Meanwhile, the scam call centers and websites simply disappear after successfully swindling consumers out of payments. Victims find it impossible to contact any real customer service when items never arrive or are grossly misrepresented.
Research indicates these fake Dick’s Warehouse Sale scam ads and websites likely originate from the same network of cybercriminals in China that have propagated similar hoaxes. This fraudulent network manages an array of bait-and-switch retail scams sites with the sole purpose of defrauding online shoppers.
By advertising irresistible markdowns on coveted sports apparel and equipment brands, the scammers lure droves of customers hoping to score deals. But the entire promotions are fake – no such warehouse clearance sale sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods ever took place.
The scam ads and sites simply exploit Dick’s brand reputation to add legitimacy while having no actual affiliation. And the too-good-to-be true prices are only mentioned to entice victims; no real steep discounts are offered.
In summary, consumers who come across social media ads for unbelievable Dick’s liquidation discounts up to 90% off should proceed with the highest skepticism. The promotions are nothing but a hoax orchestrated by seasoned scammers to profit from spreading fake deals, phony websites, and stealing user data.
How the Dick’s Warehouse Sale Scam Works
The scammers running this operation start by creating fake social media ads promoting the mythological “Dick’s Warehouse Sale” which never actually happened. Here is how they execute the scam step-by-step from start to finish:
Step 1: Scam Ads Go Viral on Social Media
The scammers set up Facebook, Instagram and TikTok ads that claim Dick’s Sporting Goods is holding a massive clearance warehouse sale with once-in-a-lifetime low prices on famous brands.
The ads use Dick’s Sporting Goods branding and imagery without their permission to make the sale appear credible. In reality, Dick’s has no affiliation with the promotion.
To lure in victims, the ads tout misleading slogans like “90% Off Clearance Sale,” “Store Closing Sale,” and “Limited Time Only.” Photos depict coveted products from brands like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and more at irresistible prices.
The scam ads are amplified through paid promotions and fake engagement to increase their reach across social platforms. As they go viral, the bait attracts droves of customers hoping to score bogus deals.
Step 2: Customers Click Through to Fake Websites
When a potential victim clicks on one of the scam ads, they are redirected from social media to mirror-image websites designed specifically for this fraud.
At first glance, these scam sites appear almost identical to Dick’s legitimate website. They steal the company’s branding, logos, product imagery, web design and more to look convincingly real.
However, upon closer inspection there are multiple red flags:
- Recently created domain names
- No contact information
- Too-good-to-be-true prices
- Grammatical errors
- Strange URLs
But the well-executed hoax is enough to fool many shoppers browsing the site.
Step 3: Shoppers Make Purchases on the Fake Sites
As customers peruse the products, the scam websites seem to have all their favorite brands for impossibly cheap prices. So they eagerly add items to their cart, lured in by the discounts.
At checkout, the sites collect the victim’s full name, home address, phone number, email, and credit card details. This sensitive personal and financial data is harvested directly by the scammers.
After submitting payment, a confirmation screen states the customer will receive their orden in 3-5 business days. But in reality, no such order is being processed.
Step 4: Customers Never Receive Products
Once scam victims have parted with their money and information, orders disappear into thin air. No products ever ship out, leaving customers empty-handed.
The fake websites stop responding to any emails or complaints. And attempts to call customer service go directly to an unmanned voicemail.
Victims are left having to do chargebacks via banks to try getting refunds. But their personal data is already compromised, and credit card companies don’t always side with scam victims.
At the end of the day, the scammers have already accomplished their goal: profiting off deceitful ads and thieving consumer data. Rinse and repeat.
What Happens If You Fall Victim to the Scam
Unfortunately, many shoppers lured in by the viral Dick’s Warehouse Sale ads end up falling prey to the fake websites and losing money. Here’s what you can expect if you become a victim:
No Products Will Be Received
The number one outcome is you simply won’t receive anything after being scammed. Weeks after the promised delivery date, your order will still be marked as ‘Processing’ with no tracking information.
Eventually it becomes clear no items will ever ship out. The scammers have no physical merchandise or intention to fulfill your order. They will cease all communication and vanish after taking your money.
Knock-Offs or Used Products May Arrive
In rarer cases, victims have reported receiving products that are clearly fake counterfeits or used items in poor condition.
The products shipped out are not what was described online. Instead of official Nike, Adidas or Under Armour goods, victims get cheaply-made knock-offs with imperfect logos and inferior materials.
Or sometimes the items are wrong sizes, ripped, stained, or otherwise worn. This proves the scammers never had new in-demand inventory despite advertising it.
Fraudulent Credit Card Charges
Make sure to monitor bank statements closely in the following weeks. The scammers have your full credit card number and security code, which could lead to future fraudulent charges.
Immediately notify your credit card company of any suspicious charges by the fraudsters. Check statements routinely to catch unauthorized debits right away.
Personal Info Stolen
In addition to credit card details, the scam sites require your full name, physical address, phone number and email. This sensitive personal data is now in the hands of criminals.
Beware an increased risk of identity theft or targeted phishing attempts using the stolen customer information. Never give any website you don’t fully trust this amount of personal data.
Difficulty Getting Refunds
Getting money back from credit card companies or banks can be an uphill battle after falling for online shopping scams. Make sure to report the fraud immediately and clearly explain how the sites misled you. But don’t expect refunds to be easy or guaranteed.
Here are detailed sections on how to spot the fake Dick’s Warehouse Sale scam ads on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok:
How to Spot the Scam on Facebook
Facebook is one of the main platforms being used to promote the fraudulent Dick’s Warehouse Sale. Here are tips to identify the scam ads on Facebook:
- Headlines like “90% Off Dick’s Entire Warehouse Inventory” or “Dick’s Warehouse Liquidation Sale” – Dick’s is not having any such warehouse sale.
- Photos of famous brand name sports apparel and equipment like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour at unbelievable markdowns of 70-90% off retail prices.
- Ads that say “today only”, “limited time”, or “going out of business” to create false urgency.
- Grammar and spelling mistakes – “Up to 90% of on everything!”
- Links in the ads go to shady URLs instead of the official Dick’s site. Examples include “dickswarehousesale.com” or “dicks-sportgoods.com”.
- No actual Dick’s Sporting Goods branding, logo, or verified account associated with the ads.
- Comments sections filled with people asking if the sale is real or complaining about products never arriving.
- The Facebook page that created the ads has almost no followers or posts.
- No way to contact the company running the promotion.
If you come across a Dick’s Warehouse Sale ad on Facebook with any of these red flags, report it immediately as a scam. Legitimate brands like Dick’s do not run 90% off warehouse liquidations on Facebook without their actual name attached.
How to Identify the Scam on Instagram
Instagram is flooded with fake ads promoting the Dick’s Warehouse Sale scam. Watch for these signs:
- Too good to be true discounts like “Up to 90% off!” on high-demand Nike shoes and apparel in the posts.
- Accounts with zero followers posting the scam ads and using hashtags like #dicksclearance #dickssports #dickswarehousesale to spread them.
- No mention of the @dicks account in the ads. The real Dick’s brand is not affiliated.
- Links in bios send users to shady sites rather than Dick’s real URL.
- Commenters asking if the deals are real or complaining about placing orders that never ship.
- Limited engagement on the posts aside from scammed users complaining later. The ads themselves will have fake likes.
- No business details like address or customer service for inquiries about orders.
Instagram is plagued with con artists trying to cash in on the Dick’s name. Use common sense when assessing too good to be true discounts on coveted sports brands popping up in ads from sketchy accounts.
Identifying the TikTok Dick’s Warehouse Sale Scam
On TikTok, users have reported scam ads promoting the fake Dick’s clearance sale using these tactics:
- Videos claiming Dick’s is offering its entire warehouse inventory at “up to 90% off.”
- Showing name brand shoes and apparel for implausibly cheap prices like $20 Nike sneakers or $10 Under Armour hoodies.
- Using captions like “Hurry while supplies last!” or “Today only!” to create false urgency.
- Having accounts with zero previous posts just made to share the scam ads.
- Directing users to shady sites rather than Dick’s real URL when clicked.
- Comments asking if it’s legit or complaining about placing fraudulent orders.
- Using hashtags like #dicksinsanedeals #dicksclearancesale #dicksdoorbuster to snare victims.
If you ever come across a TikTok post boasting unbelievable Dick’s deals from an account you’ve never seen before, use extreme caution before clicking any links. Verify the source, check for complaints in the comments, and only shop on the real Dick’s website.
How to Spot the Scam Websites
When victims click on the scam social media ads, they get redirected to convincing but fake Dick’s websites designed to steal money and information. Here are red flags to look for:
The websites use domain names designed to sound like Dick’s real URL, but are slightly altered imposters.
Misspellings, dashes, extra words like “outlet” or “warehouse”, and odd TLDs like .net are signs of fraud. Dick’s real website is dicks.com.
Logos and Branding
Scammers steal Dick’s real logo, fonts, colors, and website layout to appear authentic. But formatting may look sloppy or low-quality upon closer inspection.
Also look for:
- Poor grammar, typos, and other errors throughout the site.
- No links to Dick’s actual social media pages.
- Customer service contacts that don’t actually work.
The scam sites advertise discounts up to 90% off on coveted brands. These kind of near-wholesale prices are unrealistic for legitimate retailers.
Examples include Nike shoes for $25 instead of $120 or Under Armour hoodies for $10 rather $50. Obvious signs it’s bogus.
There is no “About Us” page with company history, executive profiles, physical addresses, etc. Scam sites lack this transparency.
Also missing: real customer service phone/email, a verified TrustPilot or BBB profile, or other signs of an established business.
Reviews and Complaints
There are either no product reviews at all or only negative feedback complaining about placed orders never arriving. No signs of real customers ever shopping the site successfully.
You may even see warnings posts on the Better Business Bureau about the scam after people filed complaints about the domain.
By cross-checking these signs – the domain name, contact info, prices, branding, lack of history or reviews – you can confirm whether a website is truly Dick’s or an imposter built to scam consumers. Avoid providing any personal or payment information to Dick’s imitators.
What to Do If You Fell Victim to the Scam:
If you unfortunately fell for the bait and supplied a scam website with your money and information, here are steps to take right away:
Step 1: Notify Banks and Credit Card Companies
Contact your bank and credit card provider immediately to report the fraudulent charges. Doing this quickly gives you the best chance of doing a chargeback and potentially getting your money returned.
Provide details on which website scammed you, the false claims they made, and why you initially believed them to be a legitimate store. Banks can investigate and potentially reverse the charges.
Step 2: Monitor Financial Accounts Closely
Keep vigilant watch over all your financial accounts in the upcoming weeks. Scammers may attempt more unauthorized charges now that they have your payment details. Look out for any suspicious transactions.
If you do spot fraudulent debit card activities, notify your bank ASAP to dispute them before it’s too late. Take preventative measures to avoid being victimized further.
Step 3: Reset All Account Passwords
Even if you just gave the scam website your credit card info, go ahead and reset passwords everywhere as a precaution. Use unique, complex passwords for every account to be secure.
Enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. This will thwart any potential hacking attempts using passwords leaked from the fake stores.
Step 4: Freeze Credit Reports
Consider placing a credit freeze with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion as an extra preventative measure. This blocks new credit lines from being opened in your name without explicit approval.
Freezing credit reports requires a bit more time and planning when you need new credit. But it almost fully mitigates potential identity theft damages from a scam.
Step 5: Watch Out for Phishing Attempts
Keep in mind the scammers have your name, phone number and email address now. Be extra vigilant about potential targeted phishing attempts using this info.
Do not open any sketchy texts or emails related to orders you now know were fraudulent. These could contain malware links or other tricks to steal more of your data.
Step 6: Report the Scam Activity
To prevent others from falling victim, make sure to report the scam ads and websites to the necessary authorities:
- Report scam ads directly to the social media platforms on which you saw them. Facebook, Instagram and TikTok all allow users to flag fraudulent promotions to get them taken down.
- Submit details to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. This helps authorities track and prosecute online scams.
- Notify the FTC about the deceptive sales practices via their complaint assistant.
- Contact Dick’s Sporting Goods to alert them that their brand is being used to prop up scams without consent.
The more people that report these active frauds, the quicker the scam ads and sites can be shut down to avoid further victims. But remain vigilant, as similar cons are likely to pop back up in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Dick’s Warehouse Sale Scam
Shoppers need to be aware of the fake Dick’s warehouse sale scam spreading on social media. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about this fraudulent promotion.
Is the Dick’s warehouse sale real?
No. Dick’s Sporting Goods has confirmed they are not holding any warehouse clearance sale. The ads are a complete scam.
How much are items discounted in the fake Dick’s sale?
The scam ads falsely claim up to 90% off items. This is used to entice victims with unrealistic markdowns on coveted brands. No real discounts are being offered.
What happens if I order from a Dick’s sale scam website?
Most likely your credit card will be charged but you’ll never receive any products. Or you may get counterfeit items, used goods, or random products not matching your order.
Are the scam websites affiliated with Dick’s Sporting Goods?
No. The fake sites use Dick’s branding without permission solely to execute the scam. Dick’s is not associated with these fraudulent sites in any way.
How do I identify a Dick’s Sporting Goods scam website?
Look for red flags like different URLs from Dick’s real site, no contact info, alleged 90% off deals, no reviews, missing company details, or sketched out payment pages.
Can Dick’s cancel my order from a scam website?
No. Dick’s cannot assist since they don’t own the scam sites. You must contest the charges directly through your bank by reporting fraud.
How do I get a refund after being scammed?
Notify your credit card provider immediately that you paid a fraudulent website impersonating Dick’s. However, refunds are not guaranteed once you willingly submit payment info.
Should I report the fake Dick’s ads and websites?
Absolutely. Report them on the social platforms where you saw them, and submit details to the FTC, state attorney general, and IC3 to get the scam shut down.
How do I avoid online shopping scams like the Dick’s sale hoax?
Stick to the real brand site or well-reviewed major retailers. Check for signs like unrealistic discounts, grammatical errors, and lack of contact info or company details.
This FAQ equips consumers with vital information to evade scammy advertisements capitalizing on the Dick’s Sporting Goods name and reputation. Being an informed shopper is the best defense.
The Bottom Line: Avoid the Fakes and Shop Safely Online
In summary, advertisements for an incredible 90% off “Dick’s Warehouse Sale” have pervaded social media sites in recent months. However, consumers should beware that this promotion is an outright scam orchestrated by fraudsters aiming to swindle customers out of money and data.
When shoppers click these viral ads, they are directed to fake e-commerce sites posing as Dick’s to lure in victims with deep discounts. But no real discounted merchandise exists. Any submitted orders and sensitive personal information simply ends up in the hands of scammers.
If you have fallen for one of these too-good-to-be-true deals, immediately notify your bank and monitor accounts closely for fraudulent activity. Freeze credit reports if needed and change account passwords as preventative measures.
Be extra vigilant about potential phishing attempts using your stolen details, and make sure to report the scam to help shut it down. But the best way to avoid becoming a victim is learning how to spot the warning signs of online retail scams:
- Unbelievable discounts up to 90% off on coveted brands
- Viral social media ads using a real retailer’s name and logos
- Redirects to shady new domain names instead of legitimate sites
- No physical address, customer service number, or company information
- Spelling/grammar issues, technical glitches, strange URLs
Only make purchases through official brand websites you trust or well-established online stores with transparent business info. Be wary of too-good-to-be true promotions on social media from vague or sketchy sources. With caution and awareness, shoppers can avoid falling victim to fraudulent sales scams spreading on sites like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.