I have seen way too many scam examples in the crafting world recently. Because of this, I decided to dedicate this page of my site to some tips to help protect you from a scammer.
First some history
Long before my crafting site, I had another website where I spoke about scams and fraud awareness issues. So often there is not a way to really stop the scammer, or recover your money you lost after becoming a victim of a scam. This is why talking about awareness and education is the best way to fight back against fraud. Due to this my husband and I created the website Scam Victims United.
Both myself and my husband have spoken on national television as a way to educate people about what to look for to avoid becoming a victim of scams. I even been a presenter and spoken at some national conferences on the topic.
So how do you know if something is a scam? Let me give you some examples and tips of what to look for. The information here could save you or a family member from becoming a victim.
Paypal Friends and Family Scam
The Paypal Friends and Family Scam is one I see all too often online. It typically comes up in places where you see items listed for sale, including crafting groups. I have also seen this one used when the scammer will pretend to be selling a service, such as creating a custom logo for you to use.
The scammer will ask you to pay for the item you are purchasing, or the service they are providing for you over Paypal. But the trick is that they get you to mark the money sent to Friends and Family. This is because if you send money via friends and family through Paypal you cannot get the money back or dispute the charges. If you would have marked that the money was for a sale of merchandise or a service, and then never got what you paid for you would be able to dispute the charge with Paypal and recover your money.
Now, I do not want you to think that I am saying that Paypal is not a good option to use for paying for goods or services. That is not what I am saying at all. I even accept Paypal as a form of payment for my online one on one classes. Just make sure that you are always using Paypal to pay for an invoice, so that you have a copy of what you paid for or use the goods and services option. This way if you discover later that the transaction was a scam you can dispute it with Paypal.
If the scammer tries to tell you that the reason that they want you to pay via Friends and Family is because when you use goods and services it charges the seller a fee, and they are trying to avoid that fee being taken out of the sale just tell them know. If they are a legitimate business owner then they should have factored for expenses such as fees like this when determining their pricing for their goods and services.
False advertising in products is another type of scam. In September of 2021 I began to see a lot of people in Disney groups that I am in talking about a Mickey Mouse wreath that they ordered from Amazon. The Amazon ad shows a beautiful wreath with autumn leaves, tiny pumpkins and pinecones adorning it. There are even some of the photos where you can see Cinderella’s castle in the background. These photos are clearly of the wreaths that the Disney Parks use to decorate Main Street in the fall.
After ordering this item, several people have posted that what they received was actually a much smaller wreath than what was advertised. Additionally the wreath was constructed out of very fake looking items. Honestly, some of them look like they were thrown together with items I could get from my local dollar store. My advice here is to read the reviews. Every single one of these listings has a bad review along with a photo of what the buyer actually received.
Luckily since this was sold on Amazon and most likely paid for with credit card you will have multiple resources to report and dispute the item, and recover your money. You can also report the listing in hopes that Amazon will close the account and that scammer will not be able to defraud more people.
Cricut Machine Sale Scam
Sometimes a scammer with go through a lot of work in order to defraud you of your money, including creating a fake website to try and deceive you. Recently I have seen a growing number of websites that include the word Cricut in the website and are listing machines for sale for under $100. This is a case of “if it sounds too good to be true, it is”.
Customers who have ordered from these fake Cricut websites have never received the machines or bundles that they ordered. The scammer will often not provide any way to contact them or dispute the charges. I am not saying that every website that has the word Cricut in the name of their site is being run by a scammer, but if they are selling machines for $100 or less that should be a red flag.
A Personal Note
I wanted to also add a personal note about this topic. As any of my followers can tell you, I go out of my way to help people learn to use their Cricut. I have free handbooks and resources under the Classes section of this site. I have a YouTube channel where I post free videos to help people learn to use Cricut Design Space. The only items I charge money for are my one on one sessions, my online course, or when people purchase a physical product from my store.
Recently I became aware of someone that was posting my Facebook profile to various Cricut groups and calling me a scammer. I was shocked! Every single person who has purchased a product or service from me has received that product or service.
In the spirit of full transparency I want to share that a small percentage of my customers have reached out to me to say that they did not get the course that they ordered. One of them had incorrectly typed their email address into my online system, so they never got the automated download email. For another person the email went into their junk mail account so they did not see it.
In both of these cases, once the customer contacted me and I verified that they did in fact pay for the course, I sent them the items they needed. In less than 24 hours from when they first contacted me, they had what they paid for. Furthermore they have told others about my resources since then and continue to follow me a refer others to my site. If I was a scammer, they would not be referring their friends and family to me.