Live 5 Scambusters: Water slide scams sliding into Facebook Marketplace

VIDEO: Live 5 Scambusters: Water slide scams sliding into Facebook Marketplace

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - While looking for ways to keep the kids entertained at home, be careful of special deals online that aren’t always what they seem.

Montrice Brown of Summerville was looking for something fun for her kids as the homeschooling began to drag from April into May. She found an advertisement on Facebook Marketplace for inflatable water slides.

“When I saw $97 I was like ‘Whoop whoop!’” Brown said. “They advertise it as though it’s their anniversary promotion.”

The Facebook ad showing dramatically discounted prices for the slides took her to a website called Children’s Park.

“The website looks incredibly professional,” Brown said. “You can go to check the other items that they have. It has ‘Contact Us’ at the bottom.”

The website accepted PayPal so Brown felt secure. She made her order and got a confirmation on the website. She waited for a confirmation email but it never came. When she went back to the website to contact the company, she realized the website was only a gmail account and her emails were returned as “undeliverable.”

Brown later saw the same advertisement on Facebook marketplace but each ad took her to a different website with the exact same content.

“I’ve seen at least 10 different change of names but it’s the exact same website, format, everything,” Brown said.

Brown contacted PayPal and her bank and they are investigating.

If you encounter online scams like this you can report them to the FBI at ic3.gov and to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.

If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at Scams@live5news.com.

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