Avoiding Scams

This should really be a longer, more thoughtful post, but I want to get it out there now … have gotten two phone calls from (former) students in the last three days asking about Great Online Deals. Deals that seemed Too Good to be True. Camera bodies or kits for hundreds less then everywhere else.

Remember when your parents told you that if it seems to good to be true it probably is? That’s what they’d both found.

There are some EXTREMELY SLEAZY PEOPLE who operate multiple web sites that seem to offer amazing deals. You plug in your info and a day or two later you get an email asking you to call in to verify your credit card info – and then the Hard Sell begins. They tell you that you need to buy a bunch of accessories to make the camera work – accessories that are supposed to be in the box from the manufacturer. They’ll push extended warranties, batteries, cards, camera straps, filters – anything they can think of, all marked up to ridiculous levels.

And if you resist and say no to all of it, they then inform you whatever you ordered is backordered and they’ll ship it when they can. Try and cancel and they’l give you a hard time. Or charge you a massive restocking fee – sometimes on items they never had in stock.

My advice is simple – buy from reputable places. If you’ve never heard of them, do some research. And be aware they will put up false positive reviews. So who’s reputable? Here’s a list of places I’ve dealt with that are on the up-and-up:

There are a lot of others, but those are all places I know people at, have been around a long time and are in business to sell, not rip people off.

Mark E. Johnson

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