There’s a massive rise in dress shoe scams in 2023 with fake companies sprouting out left and right.
Stealing people’s images, websites and products in order to scam your hard earned money.
Let’s talk about this with some friendly tips and reminders.
This Is Not A New Thing
There are scammers in every possible industry and profession.
Every time there is an exploit and easy money to be made without any moral repercussions, someone will do it.
If you followed the blog since it’s infancy 5 years ago, you would know that I am a very vocal and passionate defendant of justice.
I used to do monthly reports from the shoe world and every month there would be a new scammer website.
What is shocking is that formerly legitimate companies just take your money now and don’t ship your shoes while chugging out excuses.
Read more to find out.
What’s The Scam?
There’s not just one scam that covers everything.
Most of them however begin in an online e-commerce platform such as Shopify.
Very easy to set up, has a very low trial fee for months and nobody can really report you.
Unfortunately, most of these people come from countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China.
The basic scam is that they create a fake persona/name and then sell fake or low quality products.
Oftentimes they will copy entire websites such as the recent case with Blkbird Shoemaker who the scammer copied the entire website.
All the way down to the images and product descriptions.
Others will use very basic photoshop skills and steal images from the best shoemakers in the world and erase the logo often present on shoe trees.
More often than not, they don’t even bother to do that!
They then put a fake price which is already extremely lower than the actual thing (200-300$) and then put it on “sale” for 50-70$.
Once they are exposed and spam Instagram and Facebook Groups, they will disappear from the face of the earth.
Then they will either rebrand as something else or just be happy they ran away with your money.
What Can You Do?
Usually conclusions are at the end of articles, but I am very sensitive to dress shoe scams as I am in the industry.
First of all, be smart and understand that there is no such thing as a bargain at those prices.
If it looks phenomenal and high end it probably is a fake or stolen image.
You can get legitimately great new shoes under 200-300$ these days or even less if it is a second hand pair.
Do your due diligence and check out the company for Reviews, comments or social media.
Look at when those accounts were established and if they just popped up out of nowhere.
Use Google Images and cross reference or backwards search for them.
If You Have Already Been Scammed
If someone scammed you or you suspect they might because they refuse to answer your calls or emails, hope is not lost.
Immediately call your bank and file a chargeback or use your PayPal Seller’s Protection.
Shopify will rarely side with the store owners that scam and if enough chargebacks come in, they restrict the shop.
You have to remember that you should not wait more than 3 months to file a chargeback.
Usually after that period it becomes impossible to request a refund for that.
Also remember to do your part and leave Reviews wherever possible even on those temporary accounts.
The Undandy Scam
I’ve spoken about Undandy a myriad of times before.
Formerly a legitimate, honest business making MTO Shoes in Portugal with a fair delivery time.
The quality was never very good, but it gave some people affordable happiness (albeit Blake Stitched) and personalization.
When Covid hit, Undandy began quoting delays and problems and gave canned responses to everyone.
It was embarrassing to see it unfold and shocking how many people never received their shoes, refunds or anything after 2 years.
What’s even more shocking is that they still have the nerve to continue promoting new things on their Socials like nothing happened.
Even worse, they disabled comments in many of their posts for obvious reasons.
Do not buy from these people.
A Couple Recent Examples
The reason I decided to write this article was my friend MbShoedoc (Interview Here).
He has a small side business where he sells shoes and also does Reviews and patina work.
Since he does Reviews and collaborations, he decided to try out some shoes that said “Made in Spain”.
Days later, he found another scammer also from Pakistan that copied the entire Blkbird Shoemaker website.
Blkbird on the other hand is an honest, great entry level shoemaker from India that you can safely trust.
He stole images from countless friends in the industry and promoted them shamelessly even when the actual people were in the same group.
After exposing them, their website is no longer live which shows you how the scam works.
Just Be Careful
This was a short, quick article and reminder to be vigilant and street smart.
Not just with dress shoes but with everything because scams are everywhere.
Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Trust only heritage, established stores and shoemakers or do your research and see what other’s say.
Unfortunately, what this does is also hurt the good honest people in those countries that make an effort to produce good shoes.
Together, we can protect each other and do our duty by informing the world one day at a time.
Thank you for reading,