Of Consumer Protection and Birkenstocks
I write a lot about consumer protection — about the mainstream businesses that harm consumers through nefarious practices.
However, there’s still the threat from the good, old-fashioned scam.
A story from Orrin Onken about some Birkenstocks that never arrived offers some key lessons in how to avoid being scammed.
I’m a Tech-savvy Know-it-all Lawyer and I Fell for the Online Birkenstock Scam
Because I wanted it to be true.
He tells the tale well and offers a deep dive into the key lessons he learned.
Here are my four takeaways that could help you avoid losing money to a scam:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is an old adage, and it still applies. Be wary of the offer that is better than it should be.
- Check the website. In this case, the selling site was pretty sketchy. In any case, do a search for the site and read some reviews about it.
- Research. This is similar to 2, but if the site seems okay, check out the selling company — how long have they been in business? Can you talk with a live person for customer service? What is their return policy?
- Listen to warnings. In this case, a warning from the bank was ignored. But, if you get such a warning, that’s a good time to go back to numbers 2 and 3. Take a moment to pause and consider what you’re being told.
Here’s how this story ended:
I have no new Birkenstocks. My money and my credit card information are in the hands of bad guys. I have to go through the whole new credit card process, just like I didn’t want to do.
Consider this tale when you get a “too good to be true offer” — it may help you avoid the same fate.