Buy Stuff Online? Here’s The Scam of The New Year (2024)

latest scam

How The Scam Works

How does an e-commerce scam work? These days, with the plethora of online sites, fraud has several angles. In this article, I uncover the latest scam in the new 2024 and show you how a fake website cashes in millions of dollars a month.

The scam was exposed by the popular Travel by Dart TV show's host Sorin Mihailovici, an adventurer who throws darts at the world map and goes wherever they land. While in Thailand, he tried to buy a shirt online and get it delivered there, only to catch the scammers and share their strategy with us.

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You are just about to see in detail how criminals trick you when you buy stuff on the Internet. It's more than just taking your credit card number. Specifically, I'll show you how you believe you made a legit buy when you purchase things like shoes, dresses, shirts, or even household items online. Let's start.

Here is how criminals operate these social media scams and how victims pay a lot of money for nothing.

Watch the clip below to see the typical e-commerce scam in video format, or keep reading:

Fake Instagram, Facebook and TikTok Ads

Imagine this scenario: you scroll on Instagram and see an advertisement for an exciting piece of clothing. Let's say it's for sale on a scam website that is still operating called They advertise all over social media. This info is coming from a victim who ‘bought' a vintage map shirt but lost his money and decided to share his story with us. But let's go back to the scenario.

You like the ad for the shirt and click on it. It opens the website, and you check the item. You love it, and you're ready to buy it.

You put it in your online cart and click “Pay Now.” Moreover, you have peace of mind when you see a PayPal payment option, so you don't have to put in your credit card. You purchase the shirt and get a few confirmation screens. They look official and assuring, but here is where most people no longer question the website's trustworthiness.

Below is a screenshot of the bogus confirmation:

fake website

Fake Tracking Links

Here is where it gets more complex.

You get a tracking number as soon as you pay. You also get it via email, so all you think of is that you are happy and that you're about to receive the nice shirt over the next few days.

The confirmation email with the tracking links comes from [email protected], while the tracking system is on a different domain name.

The tracking system, in this case, is a scam run by the same people. Although it looks reasonable and legitimate, the website is a criminal tool. But let's continue.

Criminals update that tracking system every few days, adding random cities in the United States, as your package supposedly goes through customs and gets moved around. By adding several updates, criminals ensure you don't panic and firmly believe your purchase is about to come.

In reality, what happens is that the scammers buy time to victimize as many people as possible with the websites they advertise on TikTok, Instagram or Facebook.

Below is a screenshot of the bogus updates that your order might show – they will be customized to your country, state and city. Read from the bottom up.

fake tracking link


Complaints Extends The Scam Website's Lifetime

So, what happens next? You're waiting for the item, patiently checking the delivery status every second day. After a month of waiting, you contact the seller. However, you only receive assuring responses – if you get any. They do nothing but extend the time the scamming website has to make more victims.

After your patience runs out, you request the website to start a refund process, which adds a few more weeks to the lifespan of the fraudulent platform. And then, of course, you get nothing back.

Overall, the scammers have about 3 months to operate and make hundreds of thousands of dollars from hard-working people like you.

Meanwhile, as you paid either by credit card or PayPal, you will probably not get a refund anymore either – depending on the payment method – because the transaction was done too long in the past.

What You Can Do About It

What do Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok do about these scammers? Not that much, since websites like Laser Lanch start advertising with brand new domain names without proof or history of being wrong. Three months later, that's a different story, but that's too late.

What can you, specifically, do about it? When you see deals on websites you have never heard of, run their domain name through the Scam Detector's website checker, and you will get a good idea of whether that site is a scam or not.

You can also contribute with the names of the crooks on these pages:

If you get to the point where you have to check tracking platforms like, that's probably too late, too. The only thing you can do is avoid buying stuff from platforms that rank low in the website validator and have only a few reviews. Never trust what is on these websites' own social media accounts.

How To Report a Scammer

Warn your family and friends know about the latest scam this year. Feel free to share the article if it was helpful. However, you can report scammers and any suspicious activity officially to the Federal Trade Commission (most important), the Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI Internet Complaint Center by using the pages below:

How To Protect Yourself More

Do you want to receive alerts about the most notorious scams on a regular basis? Subscribe to our scam alerts. You will receive periodic emails from Scam Detector with exclusive tips. Those will include info on how to prevent fraud and insights about the newest tools you can use to fight crime.

Feel free to explore additional articles on related fraud. You can find them listed below this paragraph, so that you know more about online security. Last but not least, if you had any bad experiences, make sure to use the comments section below to expose other scammers.

Facebook Scams: Full List

Instagram Scams: Full List

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Are you just about to make a purchase online? See if the website is legit with our validator:


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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

3 thoughts on “Buy Stuff Online? Here’s The Scam of The New Year (2024)”

    1. An Amazon platform cheated me, took $3000 from me and blocked me.
      My request is that they are fooling people by using the name of Amazon
      And I belong to a very poor family and it will be kind to you if you return the payment to me
      And I have the WhatsApp and Facebook number of these fraudsters
      Scammer WhatsApp namber +44 7931 678905
      And I have the link of Amazon’s fake app to tell people about it
      Please sir kindly return my pymant 3000 usdt
      And I also have their Facebook ID to cheat people and steal money

  1. What about all of the click bait ones that are advertised on many reputable sites including Yahoo and other news sites and so forth that show an important person or a big star and show or say things to make you think they are very near death or other terrible things have happened to them and when you click on it there is either nothing about them in it or it was just another ad to sell stuff. You check Bing or other search and find out nothing at all was wrong with any of those people you saw pics like they were dying or on on their last legs.

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