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

(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of Nov. 23

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Shawn Canil, a Cloverdale-area resident, turns heads with the truck he’s decorated for Christmas. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Truck’s Christmas decorations lift spirits on Cloverdale man’s commute

‘When I see them smiling, I know it’s worth it,’ pickup driver Shawn Canil says

Ben “Santa” Cohen visits Ecole Martha Currie in Cloverdale Dec. 4. Santa wished everyone a socially-distanced Merry Christmas out in front of the school. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Santa visits Ecole Martha Currie in Cloverdale

First gig of the season for Ben ‘Santa’ Cohen; COVID driving most gigs online

(Delta Police Department photo)
South Delta crime beat, week of Nov. 23

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

At least one person received life-threatening injuries when a car collided with a semi truck in South Surrey on Friday morning. (Brenda Anderson photo)
VIDEO: South Surrey crash sends one to hospital in critical condition

Road closures in effect after collison between car and semi-truck

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack mother upset about son’s alleged suicide attempt after hospital discharge

Rhonda Clough said 34-year-old son suffering with bipolar disorder should have been kept in hospital

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

Most Read