Ever Been Ripped-Off On The Web?

32 replies
Many people who buy products such as software over the internet find the software does not work.

No refund from the seller and no replies to their email requests for a refund.

Where do you complain to?

Two places to complain to are:-


Your complaint is entered into their 'Consumer Sentinel' database used by thousands of law enforcement around the world as well as for civil use.

The second place to complain to is:-

Home - Ripoff Report

Their database is accessed by reporters and tv media people all around the world to know of the scammers out there.

Ever been ripped-off?
What did you do about it?
#rippedoff #web
  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
    Other than serial refunders, not really. And those get chopped off at the knees real quick.

    However, in the offline world, yes I have been ripped off, not paid, chiseled. I have actually sat myself squarely in a customer's living room until the cheap b$%#&% finally paid up.

    All in all, my online purchasing and doing business has a far better record than my offline did.
    Kevin Riley, Kevin Riley Publishing, Osaka, Japan

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    • Profile picture of the author JazzOscar
      Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

      -----However, in the offline world, yes I have been ripped off, not paid, chiseled. I have actually sat myself squarely in a customer's living room until the cheap b$%#&% finally paid up.-----
      Like Kevin I haven't really been ripped off online.

      I might have felt sometime that a delivered product was so different from my excpectations that it felt like a rip off.

      Allthough it might be unintentional, I also feel that too late delivery of continuity magazines from some big names borders on an attempt to rip me off. When something that should have been delivered in 7-10 days, or something like that, is delivered a week or two after your free month of trial has expired and your first subscription payment has been withdrawn, you start to wonder. At least those marketers get a minus sign by me for the future.

      Like Kevin, I have my worst experience from the offline world. Six years or so ago I sold a laptop to a private customer. It was an expensive one, $ 3,000+, VAT included. At that time I even thought that this was a laptop that was to expensive for myself to buy for use in my own business. Payment for the laptop didn't turn up in my bank account. As a last resort I had my brother join me for a home call to the customer. Luckily we were allowed to enter the customers home and waited while the customer called her bank to check if she possibly could pay for the equipment.Not being able to do so, she decided to give the laptop back to me. It ended well, but it wasn't a pleasant experience.

      Oscar Toft

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  • Profile picture of the author maymorgano
    Same as in the offline world. Some times you don't get what you paid for and sometimes you do. Many sellers on the net were OK, with refunds and support etc. So - its not ALL bad
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    My worse experience was when I bought a forum about the World of Warcraft in Dec 2004 for $800 on eBay, the domain was registered with Registerfly. I agreed to pay the seller $150 a month to add new content. However, I knew that I was dealing with a dishonest person why he demanded that I pay $150 to make the site work in Linux instead, and also another $150 for it to work in Godaddy. Anyway, a nightmare quickly ensued.

    1. I gave him root access to my server to install the site. Following installationg, he quickly logged into root access and proceeded to delete everything on my server. Although I had backups, it took me several days to restore all the sites fully and I lost more than $1000 in sales during the downtime. We knew he was the hacker because my webhoster had record of his ip. and the matter was reported to the FBI. However, I don't think anything was done about it.

    2. I then told him that I suspected him of hacking and refused to pay the $150 monthly charge. He then "turned off" the site. It seems that he had installed a backdoor in the Vbulletin so that he could turn off the site at will. I sorted this out by asking Vbulletin to fix it.

    3. Then incredibly, the doman was transferred out of my account? It seems that he had given me a subaccount with Registerfly. I contacted Registerfly and they ignored me.

    4. But this is not all, it transpired that the seller did not own the site! He had previously sold it to IGE who had a similar agreement with him to update the content for a monthly fee. I contacted IGE about it and they confirmed that they were scammed but were not interested in doing anything futher about it.

    After this, I took much greater precautions in buying sites and basically treated every seller as a potential scammer.


    Do not get between a wombat and a chocolate biscuit; you will regret it dearly!

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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Tony Dean View Post

    Ever been ripped-off?
    What did you do about it?
    Yes, many times, and there are two things I did.

    First, I said "well, that's what I get" and tried to make lemonade out of my lemons. When I bought a product that turned out to be crap, I looked at the sales page again. Then I looked at the product, and identified everything that didn't meet my expectations. I examined why it didn't meet my expectations. I considered whether it might technically meet the letter of what was written on the sales page. I considered how it might have been written in a way that would have altered my expectations, so they would have been met. I looked for hidden value and benefit in the product that could have been better highlighted in the sales page.

    Second, I resolved that I would never do what that vendor did. Having examined what he did, what he could have done, and what he should have done... I had a pretty good list of what I ought to be doing (and avoiding) as a vendor myself. I don't want people thinking I ripped them off - and I don't want to spend a lot of time explaining how I didn't really rip them off because I said X and not Y, or because I had this disclaimer in tiny print down here where they didn't look.

    I did not ask for a refund. Neither did I swear never to buy another product from that vendor. Indeed, I've bought disappointing products from some vendors that proved to be such an excellent education in how not to market a product, I went back and bought more of their products to futher that education.
    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Stigson
    Usually I can spot a smelly fish from far away. Google their name, Google the product, Google it "+ support", make sure it has VALID testimonials and that people are recommending it. These are all criteria for me to even buy, and i have to be VERY interested in it, such as a service to help increase something, or do something faster and easier.

    Also, it has to have solid valid proof (income VIDEO), and things such as "SEO screenshots" and not where it's showing "how to make your gold fish do backflips" and say you are ranking #4 for that... but like, "auto insurance quotes" or its equivilent, lol.

    I love people who use "I'm ranking #2 in Google for X on my YouTube video, I'm awesome"...then you go click the video and it has like 122 views... Watch out for the volume!

    - Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Downs
      This is my first post so please be nice! Yes, like others I have been ripped off. I guess without giving you the details what's important to me is not letting it get to you and cause you to give up. As I am in the process of setting up my first product I've vowed that everything will work great and all the appropriate support systems are in place.

      Don't follow the rip off merchants. Glad it's not just me.

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  • Profile picture of the author crissanteiro
    I was ripped off (or they tried to rip me off) by a well known "reputable" internet marketer. I paid $1,197 for a product which was supposed to be delivered within one to two weeks. After about 4 months and no reply to my emails I filed complaints with the Internet Crime Complaint Center as well as the BBB in their home town.

    I got back $900, after I filed these complaints. They gave some stupid excuse for keeping $300. I am still trying to get the $300 back.
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  • Profile picture of the author krishnaGopal
    I find that the quality of products these days has actually turned into quantity! There are far too many products prpudcing some 'magic' or 'unheard ' method to making money online.

    I have also been ripped off by few of these 'reputable marketers'...one of the vendors still have not issued a refund...all those money back guarantees!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jhf14
    I've def gotten ripped off... but nothing software related.... but hey, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice.... well you get the idea
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    • Profile picture of the author Tony Dean
      Buying websites on eBay is fraught with danger - in the past I also bought domain names there said to be "PR4" when the site was running - it turns out you put this aged domain to use and immediately it is a PR0!

      I bought websites fully functioning and hosted on somebody else's server but the fee paid for a year. Trying to get into the 'back-end' of the server you can't do, you can only do certain allowable things at the front end, like listing new items.

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  • Profile picture of the author ngseosept
    Since making money online is possible, a lot of people take advantage of it through scams. Be careful with credit card transactions, and most scams seem too good to be true. Don't fall for them right away.

    Let them eat cake!

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  • Profile picture of the author Clint
    Wast of time....

    You are always going to get the short end of the stick in life if that is what you forces on.

    Roll with the pinches do not lean into them.

    Hope this helps It is just how I feel//

    Clint S.

    How do I quickly go from $0 to $500 a day?....
    =====> Click here to find out how (VIP)

    You only have a week to stay ahead of your competition, System To Secret Wealth is here
    =====> Click here to grab your spot (WSO)

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  • Profile picture of the author DavidJohnny
    I've been ripped off a couple times buying websites. The seller shows a few months of traffic history, and says it's organic. It turns out that much of it was purchased traffic, that magically disappears after I own the site! Oh well, I know better now. Like Clint says, roll with the punches.

    I've also been ripped off by people that buy, then claim refunds. At least I think they bought with the intention of getting the product and claiming the refund. There are a certain number of people out there that do this, and all of us run into it from time to time.
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  • Profile picture of the author ebookdaddy
    Hey Tony, great question. I have purchased many products online and have not had any problems obtaining a refund. For the most part I stick with products which use Paypal or Clickbank for processing their orders. If I purchase a product and it does not live up to it's claims I can easily contact the processor and request a refund.

    There was one instance where I purchase a product right here on this forum and was unable to get a hold of the vendor with his contact info. I went to his site and filled out forms etc. to no avail.

    Well, I thought how do I get my money back? Then it came to me post a message where I found his ad stating how I could not get a refund. Guess what I had my refund the same day. Other than that my online purchasing has been OK.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonathanBoettcher
    I was ripped off my a big name internet marketer who refused to refund a $1500 product, even though I asked for it within the 30 days required. Turns out his product was just a collection lesser products he'd bundled up together. Turned out it sucked.

    To be fair, I didn't deal with him directly - his assistant stonewalled at every corner and finally I just gave up. Probably should have talked to him directly - I would think he'd care about his business a bit more than his lackey.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Tees
    I've been tricked by false and misleading advertising but never really ripped off or cheated. I was led to believe that I would be able to get paid ( up to several dollars) an ad for viewing pay per click ads and two dollars for every referral who upgraded to a premium account, if I paid ten bucks and upgraded to a premium account myself. Instead all I got was alot more one and two cent ads and many of the same ads over and over again. It sure has taken me a long time simply to get back the ten dollars that I invested.

    You'd think at least I could make the money back on referrals but noone ever upgrades so the most I make is ten cents a referral.
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  • Profile picture of the author kavenlim
    Thanks for sharing...i bought an e-book on IM one year ago but it is crap so i asked for refund but not entertained..during that time i have no idea where to complain...
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  • Profile picture of the author aduer
    Hi Tony, I purchase many things on the net and I got scammed twice. The first time was when I canceled my internet service providers account. their up time was lousy and their service worse. After my cancellation they charged my PayPal account for 1 year subscription. When I called them they told me that I am no longer their customer and they don't have any records of me. I contact PayPAl and put a dispute on the charge but they told me that PayPal doesn't probide any kind of protection for services or any non phisical products.

    The second time I purchase a IM program for about $47 when I downloaded the program it was pure crap. At the end of the program the author suggested joining another program (I think was in the $2K range) of his when you could make real money. It was some kind of timeshare deal.

    Well live and learn.

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  • Profile picture of the author DavidJohnny
    Looks like I'm getting ripped off on a WSO! Paid the guy for writing, and his promised due date was the 23rd. He's strangely not answering PM's now. He's still pimping WSO's though. Time for a chargeback! Still selling, not delivering.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    I've been on the other side of the table - ripped off as the provider. I got taken twice to the tune of about $70,000 total by repeat customers. One was in Canada and the other disappeared and was very good at covering their tracks. The authorities in California were after them for years. Don't know if they ever caught the perps who ran the shell company. The Canadian company was really brazen about it. Their marketing guy flat-out told me if I didn't like it I could try to come after them. I even recorded him saying that, and when I told him it was recorded he laughed at me. I never got a penny from either one. Haven't thought about it in years. Used to keep my up nights. LOL
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua.E1
      Hahaha, I was rip off too, but by offline biz.

      They did not pay me for referring them sales, anyway I now know that a contract is very important.

      It can protect both sides if they are not doing their job.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bo Mill
    Happened to me yesterday. I bought a website for $700 (not a huge amount, but not insignificant regardless) and, after I had realized that the guy lied in his listing, I asked for a refund (the domain has not been transferred to me yet). He refused to give me one, and I am still in the process of retrieving my funds. He's from Romania, so it's harder for any sort of legal charges to be done.
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  • Profile picture of the author markdsullivan
    I bought a $197 product in 2005 and was REALLY pissed off for a while.

    It was ProcessAtHome that bogus rebate processing offer? It was in the CPA networks forever but, I think it may have finally got shut down.

    But, I didn't get so much as an email telling me where to login.

    I tried calling the company many times only to be greeted by robots. I was so pissed and couldn't get my money back.

    Charged it to the game.

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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    Thought I was ripped off a time or two but really wasn't in the long run .

    I purchased several products that were not all they promised to be but honestly don't think I have ever purchased anything I didn't learn something from. Most bad products have a little something to gleam.

    In the worst case scenario You can always study the sales page and process. I mean if it was good enough to hook you then there is something of value on it .

    The only times I have really not got value was when producers didn't pay my affiliate commissions . I mean I did the work and didn't get paid . Even this had a lesson attached ... Unless you are selling for someone with a proven track record don't go to extremes promoting until you receive a payment .

    All in all a lot of people could avoid the " I got scammed " aspect by reading the sales page and understanding that too good to be true is just that. Sometimes we scam ourselves by letting greed over ride better judgment .

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  • Profile picture of the author trini09
    Great, Thanks for the links they may come in handy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tony Dean
      A few years ago there was a character who made fake software - no way would it work! He used to offer full 100% refund guarantee and here was his email to contact him if you were not satisfied.

      You could only pay by credit card!

      He would never reply to any requests for a refund, in the end you had to contact the credit card company and get a chargeback.

      Ever heard the name Sebastian Foss?

      Do a Google for him!

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  • Profile picture of the author dsmpublishing
    Hi guys

    yes ive also been ripped off even though not for some time and thats why i always make sure that when i pay online i use my visa. I never use my paypal balance for example as we all know that under many circumstances we are not covered by paypal and it makes me feel so much better.

    The rip off that bugged me the most was back in 2005 and i had purchased a niche ready made site on ebay they never delivered by transferring it over and i had paid extra for hosting too. I paid by paypal with my balance and later found out that i wasnt covered at all so had to take it to the small claims court and won. A shame it had to go that far.

    kind regards

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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    I have been ripped of several times. I'm afraid I do take it personally when something doesn't work and emails aren't answered and the guarantee is worthless.

    Each time I have devoted huge time and effort to make sure my page reporting the scam has topped there's in Google.

    Sometimes I find someone else's page saying how they were scammed so I don't need to write my own, so I just link the hell out of it.

    Always get even, it keeps you sane

    I write articles and eBooks - PM me for details!
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  • Profile picture of the author superman50
    I was ripped off several years ago when I am desperate to exchange my paypal funds to e-gold. After that I never got ripped off again because now I realize you cant trust anyone on the internet.
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  • Profile picture of the author ildarius
    Yes I have:

    Here is my letter I just sent today:

    Since my requests to cancel the account have been left unanswered I had to resort to charging back my credit card, which my bank did, unfortunately it seems as if *** is still charging me for the service which I am not using...

    I am asking you to please stop charging my credit card and to cancel my *** account once and for all. I am sorry but if you continue this harrassment I will have no other choice but to complain to the following:

    Home - Ripoff Report
    Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) | Home

    Please act accordingly...

    Thank you for your understanding
    Will see what that gives
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