A month or so back, I came across an article discussing how many large companies and consumers are being victimized by fraudulent websites. One company specifically mentioned was Swarovski. And the number of fake websites modeling theirs is growing. Sadly enough, consumers and Swarovski crystal fanatics looking for a great deal on their favorite figurines and jewelry are likely to only end up with headaches and frustrated for weeks or months until the matter is closed.
The scenario is this….. a fraudster group of individuals picks a brand to target, in this case Swarovski. They purchase a domain name (less than $50 for one year) that any normal internet user might believe is the official Swarovski brand. Then the scammers get to work building the website (or pay to have it done). Oftentimes, this heartless group will steal images, artwork, logos, and other material directly from the luxury brand’s own web site! On the fake Swarovski websites, the prices will be so slashed, that it might be hard to resist. The web site looks real. The images are indeed Swarovski products. The prices look great. Why not! Well, the ‘Why Not?’ should be easy…..if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.
Here are some of the non-official websites I located doing research for this article. I intentionally did not link to them, so you will have to re-type them into another browser window to navigate to the site. For legal reasons, I must say that I’m NOT implying that these sites sell fakes; I am indicating that they are NOT the official brand that we think they are when looking at the products advertised on their sites. Just like any other websites, consider the potential for malware (though I don’t believe there were any issues when I visited them):
- Non-Official Site #1: www.swarovskisale.co
- Non-Official Site #2: www.swarovski-store.net
- Non-Official Site #3: www.cheap-swarovski.net
- Non-Official Site #4: www.swarovski-shop.me
- Non-Official Site #5: www.swarovski-onlineshop.com
- Non-Official Site #6: www.swarovski-outletuk.co.uk
Just for kicks, I picked a non-official website, and began the process to place an order. When I picked to pay by credit card, I was transferred to a 3rd party payment domain owned by an individual or company in China. I switched my method of payment to Western Union, and saw that the recipient address displayed was again in China. So, lastly I selected Bank Transfer, and again, the recipient information shows a destination in China. Might this be an indicator of a Swarovski scam? Certainly so! After all, the official Swarovski brand is NOT in China!
Is this the luxury brand’s official web site……?
Or Is this the luxury brand’s official web site……?
Or is this the luxury brand’s official web site……?
Naturally, Swarovski’s legal team goes after cyber-squatters whose sole purpose is to defraud consumers. Here is one such domain name that Swarovski has claimed: www.swarovski-sale.com . From various sites where consumers report scams, this domain name appeared numerous times, so it was very wise for the crystal giant to display a blank page instead of the official Swarovski website.
Despite Swarovski getting control of the swarovski-sale.com domain name, I would be certain that the process is expensive and takes a good bit of time wading through all the proper channels of command, so there is plenty of opportunity time-wise for consumers to be victimized by the scammers. In most complaints and cases I read posted by the victims themselves, they report:
- Receiving cheap plastic substitutions
- Having emails that don’t use the domain name itself, i.e. Swarovski-deal @ xyz-mail.com . In some cases, there is no email at all. They use a ‘contact us’ form that essentially does nothing.
- If there is email correspondence, it contains very poor and broken English and grammar
- Social Networking text and graphics on the website pages are not actual links (“Share Your Story”, “Like Us on Facebook”, “Follow Us on Twitter”, “Share This”, etc)
Swarovski crystal collectors and those who enjoy Swarovski jewelry should stick with reliable sources. Don’t become a victim of Swarovski fraud. Send emails to the website company for more information about their guarantees and return policies to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate company. Follow your instinct; if it seems fishy, it probably is fishy.
Crystal collectors can count on the Swarovski Experts at Crystal Exchange America to ensure the figurines purchased from them are indeed genuine Swarovski. Check out the Crystal Exchange America website at www.CrystalExchange.com for retired and hard to find Swarovski figurines.