The BBB serving Central Illinois along with the BBB serving Chicago & Northern Illinois opened a joint investigation into the operation in November 2018. The investigation discovered at least 30 shops involved in this operation and another 16 that are inactive as of 12/31/2018. These online retailers advertise discounted merchandise, including hunting and tactical apparel, tapestries, watches, vehicle accessories, and athletic wear, among other products. Losses as of the 31st were estimated at $3,000 with 66 total complaints.
The BBBs have received complaints for the following active websites (for a full list of all websites see the full press release here): Hunteroo (hunteroo.com), Tactical Deer (tacticaldeer.com), Berzerk Athletics (berzerkathletics.com), Tapestry King (tapestryking.com), Urban Mob (urbanmob.net), Epic Tapestry (epictapestry.com), Buff Eagle (buffeagle.com), Vehicle-King (vehicle-king.com), and Dixon Leather (dixon-leather.com).
“Online shopping can open the door for consumer fraud,” said Jessica Tharp, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau Serving Central Illinois. “A tip-off to the rip-off is fake websites luring customers with deeply discounted prices. If you know the product costs $500 everywhere else, and the website you are looking at has the exact same product for $150, it may be too good to be true,” Tharp added.
The online shops are using 18 addresses across Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, California, and Nevada. Many of these addresses are residential, according to Google Maps. As of 12/31/2018, all emails and phone calls have gone unanswered. The Better Business Bureaus serving Central Illinois, Southern Nevada, and Middle Tennessee have also contacted these companies requesting more information but have yet to receive a response. Many of the sites advertise phone numbers that are not in service. Visit here to read the full article.