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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The internet makes us all bargain shoppers, but beware of ‘copycat’ websites.
CBS 11 News Investigator Ginger Allen met a Dallas man named Brett Poston whose home address was listed as a business address for a copycat site on the other side of the world.
“I guess they just wanted a Dallas address and they randomly picked mine,” said Poston.
He realized he had a problem when a package containing headphones from a dissatisfied customer arrived at his front door.
“I opened the package and it was addressed to Bobbi’s Hallmark.us at my address,” said Poston.
The website is in China.
The real Bobbi’s Hallmark opened in California more than 20 years ago. Its logo is similar to the one used by the copycat website, which listed Poston’s address as its own.
“They must think Dallas is a legitimate sounding place,” said Poston.
The Better Business Bureau warns consumers to beware of copycat websites touting North Texas ties. It’s received complaints from around the world.
“We’ve seen a string of websites that seem to be in the Dallas are but they are selling merchandise that isn’t delivered or if it is it’s a counterfeit or knock off and people aren’t getting what they are paying form,” said Jeanette Kopko with the Better Business Bureau.
She cautions consumers to consider the following before clicking on bargains from a potentially fake website.
–Research prices – don’t fall for one that’s unrealistically low.
–Make sure your payment is secure…look for the “s” after the h-t-t-p when you get to check out. l
–Pay with a credit card…the BBB says it’s safer than your debit or PayPal.
–Never use a money order or pre-paid debit card.
–Pay attention to bad grammar and missing information. It’s a tell-tell sign the site is questionable.
Poston sent an email to the copycat website complaining about it using his address on McFarlin Street.
The address soon changed but it’s still on Poston’s street and lists a block number that doesn’t even exist.
Allen also sent an email to bobbishallmark.us asking for a response to the complaints. The company has not responded.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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