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Monday, August 22, 2016

Scam alert - coloring

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard of the latest craze that is gaining momentum all over the world … coloring.

Men and women of all ages and backgrounds are sitting down to coloring books, pick up pens and pencils and create art.

In the process they grow calmer, sleep better, enjoy a good appetite and feel altogether better.

Unfortunately, along with thousands of coloring enthusiasts a number of scam artists have popped up. Men and women who advertise books and coloring supplies at vastly reduced prices.

Many colorists jump at the chance of buying cheap pens and pencils, I know I was one of them.

A few months ago I noticed a post on Facebook advertising coloring books, pens and pencils at unbelievable prices. I should have known better, but in this case I threw caution to the wind. I ordered a set of pencils that were marked down from $52 to $12.

Moments later a message was posted that the seller was a scam artist, her post was taken down and she was blocked from the group. In my case the damage was done though.

Fortunately, I had paid via PayPal and when I informed them of this fraudulent purchase, they immediately put a block on the amount and two weeks later refunded me.

The scam artist was not done with me though, she had my email address and a string of insults followed.  When the insults had no effect, she tried a different tactic … trying to gain sympathy. She stated that she was an invalid, couldn’t get a job, lived of welfare, and that “selling” coloring supplies supplemented her meager income.

After her there have been other scam artists, people who advertise books and coloring supplies. Since I was bitten once, I was twice shy. I quickly learned to see the signs such as books that are too cheap or shipping costs that marked as free should be a red flag.

Just the other day I saw a Facebook post where coloring books were priced $3 and shipping was $7 regardless of how many books were ordered. This I thought was very suspicious.

The buyer could be in the United States or Canada, but just as well could be in England, France or Australia. While $7 could cover the cost of posting one book, if 5 or 10 books were ordered the mailing fee would be far more than $7.

To prevent being taken in by a scam artist there is one golden rule … if something seems to be too good to be true, it usually is.

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