Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bigdealsbox.com - The Scam I Almost Bought (Also Bigdealsmall)

bigdealsbox.com
I was looking for a place to buy a specific item, so I searched for that item online. This method has worked in the past in order to get the best price. However, as I was about to order from bigdealsbox.com, I got suspicious, so I looked up the site. A search of "Is bigdealsbox.com safe" just got me safes offered by the site. Luckily, I refined my search to "Is bigdealsbox a safe website," and here's the Reddit I found.


Most of us aren't going to look up the time at which a site was registered, which was recently. I saw reviews from 2012, which seemed to indicate the website had been around since then. But when you look it up, this website has only been around since 10-19-2018. Someone on Reddit said they scrape the Walmart website for products (and probably the reviews), and it's also built to look like Walmart. While that alone may not be a crime, the "secure" checkout is what mostly worried me at first.

The checkout allows for the use of credit card (someone on Reddit says theirs was rejected and later used for $2,000 in fraudulent charges), as well as all major gift cards and Bitcoin. Those two types of payments are often used in scams.





I am surprised at a couple of things here: 1. The website has not yet been shut down. 2. It shows up so well in searches after only a month of being around. This leads me to believe that the company that did this (probably from China via Florida) will do the same thing in the future. Someone found a way to scrape all the items off of Walmart and stick them on a new website. I checked, and the images are hosted locally, which means it's not just embedding the Walmart site.

I am sure the owners of this site will shut it down as law enforcement closes in. Then it will be set up under another domain name. Walmart and all of the companies represented should be aware of this kind of website. It's fraud in several ways to consumers, but also copyright infringement. Google and other search engines need to be aware of this sort of manipulation of their systems, too. I see way too much non-original content that gets into the top 10 of Google, and this is much more dangerous than just one Wikipedia article being rewritten several times.

Mostly, I wonder what the future is for all online retailers. Can these criminals scrape Amazon or Target, too? If so, it will be hard to tell if you're buying from a legitimate source unless you already know the company, meaning new startup shopping sites will have trouble going anywhere.

If you're finding this article because you wanted to know if bigdealsbox is for real, it's not, but it's also probably gone by now. If you find another website you've never heard of with all kinds of products at insanely cheap prices that uses really old-looking forms to collect credit card info and accepts gift cards/Bitcoin, then it's probably also a scam. If you know of any of these sites, let me know and I'll add them to the article. I am also sending this article to law enforcement, Walmart, and others that might have an interest in the matter. Bigdealsbox will get shut down, but I'm afraid it won't be until some scammer gets away with a lot of loot.




If I helped you out in any way, please click on a link from this website, unless it's a link to the scam website in question.

[UPDATE]
Filed a complaint with FBI iC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center). This is not the first time I've submitted a scam, so no promises. That scammer still used the same phone number a couple years later. I also sent messages to the domain name registrar and the company keeps the registration private, in case the FBI doesn't see this as a big deal (I was not personally scammed). Contacted Walmart to let the company know about scam site using its content.

[UPDATE 2]
I received automated emails from registrar. Walmart sent a response that my info would be forwarded. Here's the contact info given on bigdealsbox:
752 Peck Court
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Phone Number: 650-304-4021


Seller information is confusing, and it ends up listing all kinds of now-defunct sellers, like Sportswired Retail LLC / Myteamplanet from Arkansas. Basically, it drags other people through the mud, since that company hasn't sold items for a couple of years.

[UPDATE 3]
Nearly a week later, site is still up. I added another article about this scam on one of my other blogs that gets more hits, just to try to warn people. Trying local news now. I also found some kind of bigdealsbox reference on bigdealsmall.com. Bigdealsmall has a Walmart copyright at the bottom of the page and is set up EXACTLY like bigdealsbox, so it's also a scam!

[UPDATE 4]
OK, folks, we got bigdealsbox.com shut down. Bigdealsmall is still up and running. I'm hoping that one gets slammed next, but I've done my good deed, so feel free to report that website to the FBI.