Social media mobility scam makes national newspaper headlines as BHTA stresses need to protect consumers
Having reported of a scam involving mobility scooters and Facebook’s highly targeted advertising platform back in June, the Express online has highlighted that the con is still continuing to catch out unsuspecting consumers.
On the 11th November 2019, the Express’ Maisha Frost reported on the continuing fraud, which she described as “alluringly cheap, useful and utterly fake – that’s the electric, foldable mobility scooters that have been widely featured in some online adverts.”
A range quickly growing in popularity in the powered mobility device segment of the industry, the market has seen an influx of lightweight, electric folding scooters over recent seasons as users look for easy-to-transport mobility solutions that fit in with their lifestyle.
According to the newspaper, online scammers have caught on to the increasing popularity of mobility products and are exploiting Facebook’s advertising system to prey on unsuspecting consumers.
Reports of folding scooters available at prices substantially lower than the market value have been appearing on Facebook says the Express, where scammers use the social media platform’s advertising targeting mechanics to search out users interested in mobility scooters.
Describing the recent story of an individual in Surrey who purchased a mobility scooter from one of these Facebook adverts after browsing for mobility scooters online, the newspaper reported that the person paid £108.66 for the advertised model, believing they had snagged a bargain.
After the company failed to get in contact and no mobility scooter arrived however, the consumer became aware that they had been conned before initiating a chargeback through their bank.
The Express states the transaction, according to the shopper, revealed links to a website offering mobility equipment that lists its address as Jinshan District, Shanghai, China.
Earlier in the year, the national news outlet alerted readers to the same scam, where folding three-wheel mobility scooters were being advertising at £174 and traced back to domains-based in the USA.
“We have received numerous emails from the US to Australia from consumers who paid their money but got nothing,” confirmed the newspaper.
“The best way to spot a product scam before too late: when you first research an item do a general price check. If something is super cheap beware. Mobility scooters range from £400 up to £5,000.”
Recently, the mobility industry has seen a number of cases of reported scams and fraud aimed at both end-users and mobility retailers, with the conviction of Anchor Mobility’s David Waters and the Smarti scammer.
Discussing the need to protect end-users in the mobility industry, Andrew Stevenson, interim Director General of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), told THIIS: “We need to avoid unsuspecting consumers from being defrauded online. Many of them are particularly vulnerable and should not be subject to such abuse.
“To avoid falling victim to scammers, people need to buy from reputable, trustworthy companies. They need to make sure that the business is covered by a relevant Code of Practice such as that agreed between the BHTA and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
“BHTA member companies are encouraged to display the BHTA logo in their promotional material. Our members are governed by this Code of Practice and people can buy with confidence from them. They are committed to the highest levels of customer service. Consumers buying from our member companies know that they have someone to go to if something is out of place.”https://thiis.co.uk/social-media-mobility-scam-makes-national-newspaper-headlines-as-bhta-stresses-need-to-protect-consumers/https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/hacker-3342696_1920.jpg?fit=1000%2C596&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/hacker-3342696_1920.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1NewsroomRetailer NewsTrade NewsAnchor Mobility,BHTA,British Healthcare Trades Association,chargeback,Chartered Trading Standards Institute,china,Con,CTSI,David Waters,Facebook,fraud,Mobility scooters,online,scam,Smarti Scammer,targeted advertisingHaving reported of a scam involving mobility scooters and Facebook’s highly targeted advertising platform back in June, the Express online has highlighted that the con is still continuing to catch out unsuspecting consumers. On the 11th November 2019, the Express’ Maisha Frost reported on the continuing fraud, which she described...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine