Cotopaxi cautions consumers about a recent uptick in fraudulent ‘Cotopaxi Outlet’ ads appearing on social media platforms.
This isn’t the first time faux sellers have emulated a major brand claiming to sell quality products at unreal discounts, and it won’t be the last. However, recent improvements of targeted ads on social media platforms like Facebook (‘Meta’) and Instagram make distinguishing genuine sellers from fictitious ones ever more difficult.
In a Nov. 7 post to LinkedIn, Cotopaxi’s CEO and founder, Davis Smith, warned, “For nearly three weeks we’ve been battling scammers on Facebook (aka Meta) who have defrauded thousands of customers. We are getting bombarded with inquiries from upset people wondering why they haven’t received their product.”
The company now has a page dedicated to scam mitigation. There, customers can find a growing list of false web addresses and social media accounts, a shortlist of verified Cotopaxi domains, and various resources for anyone who has fallen prey to crooked sellers.
Protect Yourself From Scam Cotopaxi Outlet Sellers
Fraudulent vendors are especially active during the weeks leading up to the holidays. As the first line of defense, ask yourself, “Does this deal seem too good to be true?”
There are a few things that you can do to ensure that you arrive at a vendor’s genuine site:
- Manually type the company’s URL into your address bar.
- Avoid navigating to a company’s site through a sponsored ad — especially those found on social media platforms.
- If you do click through to a page via an advertisement or marketing email, examine the URL of that page.
Legitimate Cotopaxi Web Addresses
The company notes that only the following domains are legitimate Cotopaxi websites:
Prefer to bypass the internet altogether? We don’t blame you. To locate a brick-and-mortar Cotopaxi retailer, use the brand’s store locator.
Scammed? Here’s What You Can Do
In addition to providing a list of legitimate and illegitimate sites, Cotopaxi offers the following advice to buyers who have already made purchases from a fake seller:
- Report the fraudulent transaction to your credit card company, bank, or money transfer app company (such as PayPal or Venmo) and ask them to reverse the payment. Also, report the fraudulent transaction to your credit card company or bank.
- If the site is not on the list provided under the “What websites are fake?” section of Cotopaxi’s fraud prevention page, report the site to Cotopaxi’s customer service.
- Report the site to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or by phone at (877) 382-4357.
- File a police report.
- Monitor your credit by going to IdentityTheft.gov to see what steps you should take.
- Change your password if you created a user account with the fake seller and use the same user name and/or password anywhere else.