UPDATED 2020: Am currently still a presenter but not marketing the products or actively sponsoring any longer. If you need a hands-off sponsor then I’m your gal.
Younique Scammers – Sellers Beware
Normally it’s a case of “Buyer Beware”, but today my post is a cautionary tale for any online sellers. It’s about what I’ve learned to be a common phishing scam. This is a true story that happened to me as a Younique Presenter/Sponsor this week. What this is not is asking if Younique is a scam…If you’re searching for that sort of info, please read “Isn’t Younique Just a Horrible Pyramid Scheme” instead. (PS: It’s up to nearly 150,000 views to date, and spoiler alert: No, it’s not…a scam).
Selling Online Scams
As I mentioned, this is my story as a Younique presenter, but it should also be noted, that it will be a relevant read for anyone in Direct Sales – regardless of the company. You might even say it’s relevant to anyone who sells anything online, such as on Craigslist, Ebay, Gumtree or anywhere transactions may happen.
When one of my first Californian recruits, Teri joined the A-team nearly two years ago, she mentioned she had a similar story. In her story, it was a mother wanting to buy some makeup for her daughter who was getting married. These scammers always seem to have a story to tell.
I had not known that until Teri explained what happened. (It’s happened to her more than once). In Teri’s case, it was a woman who didn’t have a credit card and so wanted to pay by check. Wait, hold on, I am getting ahead of myself…
It Starts with An Email
Both Teri and myself had our first email through our respective company websites. My first message came in, and it simply said, “want to order”.
From the moment that I saw that brief, curt message, my spidey-senses were tingling. I immediately tried to test out the email a few places which showed nothing online.
Even though I was obviously dubious about it, you have to try to give people the benefit of the doubt. So I kindly wrote back to Mr Michael Cohen (email@example.com) with a very simple “How may I assist you?”
You’ll see from his reply a detailed order that “Michael” wants to place. It’s a big one! Who wouldn’t love that order…? If only…
A big detailed order also seems to be par for the course with the scammers!
So I reply saying that Younique is done 100% online and gave my direct shopping link to buy the makeup there.
Of course “Michael” says he is skeptical about using his “credit card online or any other online form of payments” and thus wants to pay by check or money order.
I feel like writing back saying I am skeptical about him, but I don’t…
The next red flag is when the person starts to use words effectively stating “I don’t want to pay online” (in some shape for form). That is where your suspicions, as an online seller, ought to be confirmed.
If you see that, run a mile, or at least be very, very careful going forward. OK?
Please note: Since joining Younique two years ago, I have met many people (strangers) in person who wanted to pay by cash. These were usually for the 3D lashes, which I always had in stock. More on that later…
So sometimes when a person doesn’t want to buy online it’s legit!
Back to Michael Cohen…
What’s also interesting, or even hilarious, is that not only can he not spell his last name right (OK, maybe that was just a typo?), but the mailing address he gives, is a fake one. (At least according to a map search pictured below).
But still, being a kind sort of person, or simply not gullible, I actually said that I have no way of taking checks or money orders. I gave him the link to find a local Younique presenter/sponsor.
So, if he is legit, and has real issues with shopping online, he can shop from someone local. Fair dues right?
Not surprisingly that was all I heard from Michael. Not even a “thank you” for my time!
My Advice for Selling Online
- Proceed with caution always.
- Don’t get excited when you see an order come in that way. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
- Do your homework – e.g. try to find as much as you can about the person.
- Don’t accept checks or money orders – unless you know the person or can verify they are legit. If you do take those forms of payment, wait until they clear before you buy any products!
- In this day and age there are plenty of ways to pay online – even through a “pre-paid” credit card. So the whole “I don’t want to pay online” is generally bogus!
- Be very careful if anyone suggests meeting up in person. As I said, I have met many strangers. I am happy to deliver Younique makeup locally in Glasgow, and to accept cash. I always meet in a very public place. Like with online dating, I’d recommend somewhere like a tube/train station or coffee shop. Everyone I’ve met (a dozen or so) has been fabulous. So don’t worry about that! Just be safe! OK?
If you find yourself in a situation whereby someone wants to transact with you, and making up excuses as to why they can’t pay online – proceed with caution. It won’t always be a scam but it very well could be. Do your due diligence. The same rules apply for any MLM company, on Craigslist, the trade websites, Gumtree or what have you. There are lots of scammers out there and I don’t want to see you caught out!
Update 1 Day Later:
After posting this post yesterday, I shared the link with my Secret Facebook Team group. I have now had another team mate, Charlotte, respond saying she’d just had one of these too. She has just messaged me the screenshot of hers.
I love how Flora puts her (alleged) USA phone number and says she wants to get products from Charlotte who is based in England. And the so-called Michael in Canada tries to order from a Scotland/Californian Younique presenter.
So firstname.lastname@example.org – 604-343-8019 – shame on you!
Name and Shame Online Scammers
Do we need to shame anyone else? By this I mean attempted scams taking place on any platform or with company. Let me know in the comments below. Let’s put an end to scammers. Naughty scamming people! Shame on the lot of them.