What appears to be a too-good-to-be-true deal circulating on Facebook is just that. Be on the lookout.
Sometimes, an offer comes along that’s so tempting, even though it smells fishy, you want to go for it. So it was with a few of the GearJunkie staff today who caught wind of a deal that’s roped in plenty of outdoor enthusiasts.
That’s right, you could (can’t) own a teardrop trailer — shipped free — for just $169! Why take this deal? According to the Shopify page (that will happily accept your credit card information):
“The old-timey style is but one of the iconic features that make teardrop trailers so magical. Their comfortable sleeping quarters, as well as their functional and beautiful rear galley kitchens are a couple more reasons. Throw in the fact that they are easy to tow, lightweight, and have a multitude of custom option possibilities including off-road versions and it is no wonder why so many people are catching the teardrop fever.”
“Old-timey style”?! OMG, I’ll buy 12!
Hold. Your. Horses.
$169 Teardrop Trailer Scam: Facebook
There are so many reasons to immediately disregard this “promotion.” It’s among the most obvious ploys, but these scammers may have touched on the perfect product. “Teardrop fever” is real: Our readers love them, they’re a fun and accessible way (besides the price) to get outdoors, especially with a family, and they look cool!
But the only thing $169 would buy you is a couple of tires. Maybe. So put your wallet back, and let’s look at all the reasons this is, in fact, too good to be true.
It’s on Facebook
First off, this deal greets consumers solely from Facebook — the internet equivalent of the Vegas strip at midnight. Facebook is a lawless, unforgiving marketplace that trades in turning your identity and habits into dollars. Dollars that go from you to someone else, and never the other way around.
Legitimate businesses will have some presence or traceable marketing that reaches outside Facebook. Never jump on a deal you can only find on a website that the U.S. government has repeatedly targeted for illegally harvesting personal data, being complicit in election meddling, and suspicion of massive antitrust practices.
How lucky are you? You happened to pass by the world’s greatest deal on a teardrop on the one day it’s available! No. You’re not that lucky. “Just $169 Today & Free Shipping” is code for “No time to think! Buy first, think later.” Sorry, but always lead with your smarts — it’s the only shot you have at keeping $169 in your pocket.
What Brand Is That?!
By now, we should all know enough that if a website or business name is impossible to pronounce — let alone sound out — it’s not a place we should be. Take this unprecedented teardrop deal. It comes courtesy of the fine folks at … UWIEHHFFC. That’s literally the sound a hippopotamus makes when it sneezes. It is not a legitimate enterprise.
A quick gander at some other “$169 Teardrop” Shopify pages returned other business names that were, well, less than convincing. I’m looking at you, “WEOFIW,” “WOIPWOEIF,” and “TIYIUJDC.”
If all else fails, just Google “$169 teardrop scam.” I did, and here’s what I found:
“Purchased on a safe credit card in case of fraud. Also have a freeze on my credit. Received a receipt but when I click on the receipt to ‘see’ my order it goes to a webpage that can’t be displayed.” — Signal Arnaques
“In recent weeks, an individual or group has been running a series of online fraudulent scams on various online web stores on multiple different platforms in an effort to impress upon people that they may get a screaming deal on a teardrop trailer. They have been using our product images from throughout our website, and removing our logo in Photoshop.
“PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS IS A SCAM AND WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO BRING IT TO AN END.” — Timberleaf Trailers
Not only that, but some Reddit users ran a domain search that uncovered one fraudulent site (there are many) that was just days old. If you started a business, would you begin by selling your big-ticket items at 98 percent off in the first week?
Face it: You won’t get a teardrop trailer worth its salt unless you A) pay good money for it or B) build it yourself. Fortunately, we’ve covered the best teardrops under $10,000 and cool info on how to build your own (here and here).