Bags + Returns = $ 1 Million Counterfeit Scam
NBC Washington reports of a Virginia woman who made a fool of luxury stores by buying bags online, return an exact replica to be fully refunded, and sell the authentic bags online herself for a profit. It’s an astounding story.
Reports say that a Virginia woman has bagged around $ 1 Million dollars in profit selling bags over eBay/Instagram. She would buy bags from online stores, and would spend time going back to physical stores, reportedly in varying states, to return them for a full refund.
She is allegedly returning high-end knockoffs, or Triple A Replicas, duping sales associates in the process, and leaving the original bags in her possession. She would then sell the authentic bags online to online looking to save a buck or two on luxury bags.
She’s done this so much, that between 2014 to 2015, her purchases has reached so high that a major retailer crowned her on of their top online customer – worldwide. In fact, Feds have siezed 527 bags from her home and a bunch more for shipments sent to her place of work.
According to the charges pressed against her, the fake counterfeits she returns come from Hong Kong and China, presumably bought for a fraction of the price, allowing her to fool hundreds of store clerks over the years to get full refunds for fake bags, and leaving her with a ton of authentic inventory to sell to unsuspecting online buyers.
In one of the examples cited by NBC, the accused allegedly bought a Céline Ring tote in ruby, and had returned a similar bag only it is a knock off. Weeks later, she posts the authentic bag she kept for sale online!
Her eBay and Instagram is still up which will not be posted here because it is definitely getting a lot of online hate. Some clients of hers have resorted to pouring their stories out in forums, claiming that they’ve also received faked bags from her (though they were very good fakes).
This is an astounding story. And a disappointing treachery and disservice to bag lovers everywhere. It is an astonishing realization that counterfeiters have reached a point of knock off sophistication making it undetectable in stores when returned. And so scary to know that people could take it to their own personal advantage to dupe others with smuggled goods and fraud.
Sketch from NBC Washington.