The website Chigoby is among eight scam online retailers that have been identified by the Better Business Bureau. The site was fraudulently using an Abbotsford residential address, but has since switched to one in Poland.

The website Chigoby is among eight scam online retailers that have been identified by the Better Business Bureau. The site was fraudulently using an Abbotsford residential address, but has since switched to one in Poland.

8 scam online-shopping websites fraudulently use Abbotsford address

Better Business Bureau says victims lost hundreds for non-existent or poor-quality products

An investigation by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has revealed that eight fraudulent online retailers used a residential address in Abbotsford, and victims lost hundreds of dollars for non-existent or inferior-quality products.

The BBB said they began receiving complaints and reports on Scam Tracker in February of this year about the websites.

Queries with the City of Abbotsford revealed that there were no business licences issues for the specific address or for the following businesses: Lemon Dresses, Comfyfree, Dress Stars, Modaboxs, Wearing Pearl.com, Instylewaye, Chicgoby and Theinnstyle Clothing.

The BBB said their investigation also revealed that the scammers hijacked the home address for a B.C. resident who has no connection to any of the businesses, and used it on the websites for several months.

The agency said victims of the shady retailers come from across North America. In Canada, the BBB received complaints from B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

RELATED: Better Business Bureau issues warnings over billing for weight loss app Noom

In the U.S., reports came from states such as Washington, California, Oregon, Texas, Missouri, Connecticut, New York, Florida and Massachusetts.

The complaints and Scam Tracker reports primarily mentioned issues with long delivery times or no delivery, challenges connecting with the businesses to process a refund, and poor customer service. Victims lost between $80 to $300.

The BBB said that a New York consumer who spent over $200 on Dress Stars wrote: “I ordered merchandise [and] was sent an email with an order number. When I went to check on my shipping, it does not have my email or order and there is no contact phone number.”

The BBB said that since the start of the investigation, one of the businesses, Chicgoby, has changed the address on their website to a location in Poland.

BBB found that the new address belongs to a footwear wholesaler named Sinda Wolka Kosowska, which seems to have no connections to Chicgoby. Also, the website for Comfyfree is no longer active.

In July, the agency warned about scammers using residential addresses on their websites to appear more reputable. They sometimes use the address of a vacant lot or a residential property that has been listed for rent or sale.

“Since the start of the pandemic, hundreds of fraudulent websites have been created to lure in consumers who have increased their shopping online,” said Karla Laird, manager for community and public relations at BBB.

“Scammers continue to develop sophisticated schemes that not only victimize online shoppers, but also innocent members of the public and legitimate businesses.”

Among the tips recommended by the BBB to avoid such online-shopping scams are:

• Know the normal price range of the item you want to purchase and be wary if you see it available elsewhere at a steeply discounted price.

• Double-check the business address – if it pops up as a residential address or a vacant property, or is linked to another business, it could be fraudulent.

• Double-check the business ratings at BBB.org.

• Use a credit card, which not only provides additional protections, but makes it easier to later dispute charges.

• If you are the victim of a scam, report the experience to BBB Scam Tracker.

RELATED: Better Business Bureau warns online puppy scams surging during COVID-19 pandemic



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fraud

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A worker from Yellow Fence Rentals installs fencing around Cloverdale Youth Park Nov. 25. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale Youth Park closed

Basketball court and skate park fenced off

File photo
Surrey Downtown BIA launches shop local campaign

Meantime, BC Buy Local Week runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 in Surrey

Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, acting vice provost, Teaching and Learning, with Kwantlen Polytechnic University. (submitted photo)
Students save money in KPU’s novel ZTC program, or ‘Zero Textbook Cost’

Launched in the spring of 2018, the program has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic

White Rock firefighters hang a banner on their firehall Wednesday to celebrate the completion of a joint effort with the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society to raise $500,000 for the Peace Arch Hospital. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey RCMP have provided shoppers with a number of holiday-shopping safety tips. (Unsplash photo)
Surrey RCMP offers holiday-shopping safety tips

Be safe when purchasing items online or through marketplace-type apps, police warn

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Most Read