Despite the return of in-person shopping, online shopping scams continue to be a major risk for shoppers, according to reports submitted to BBB®. Consumers alerted BBB Cranehast.com, a website advertising a wide range of products on social media. Since March 2021, BBB has received eight complaints, four BBB Scam Tracker reports and 100 inquiries regarding Cranehast.com. According to reports, consumers never received the items they ordered from the website and attempts to get a refund were denied.
According to consumer reports, Cranehast.com advertises high-priced household products on online search engines. Many consumers say they discovered Cranehast.com by browsing search results for products such as dining tables, air purifiers and workbenches. Although these products are advertised, BBB has discovered that the items are not listed or viewable on the site. In fact, the site seems to exclusively sell drinking straws and no other products are listed.
What happened after the orders were placed?
After placing an order, consumers say there has been little to no communication from Cranehast.com. When they contacted by phone or email for more information, they reportedly discovered the phone number was out of service and the emails were returned as undeliverable.
However, several consumers report that Cranehast.com submitted fraudulent tracking information after requesting refunds. Although they report buying large items like furniture and appliances, consumers say the packages for which tracking information was submitted were far too light to match the products they ordered.
According to one consumer, “The package that was supposed to have been delivered weighed only 3.20 lbs. The bench I ordered weighs over 25 lbs. The original post has since disappeared from the internet. I have tried several times to contact Cranehast by e -mail and phone.None of my emails went through and neither did my phone calls.
Websites like Cranehast.com show that online shopping scams will continue to be a major risk for consumers, even as in-person shopping becomes more accessible. Scammers use digital technologies like online payment platforms and advertising to reach more victims and make more money.
BBB offers buyers these tips:
- Not all digital advertisements lead to trustworthy businesses. Scammers frequently advertise on search engines and social media to reach more customers.
- Avoid making an immediate purchase. Carefully review the website before buying anything. You may notice some red flags that you won’t notice if you head straight to the checkout page.
- Check active contact information. If the website does not list contact information or if the information listed is not in service, it is likely a scam.
- Be skeptical of the bargain prices. Scammers frequently use low prices to attract attention and entice consumers to make quick purchases.
- Shop from reputable companies. Stick with retailers you know or find reputable businesses on BBB.org/research.
- Verify the company with a reliable source such as BBB.org. Find more information about a company by visiting sources you trust.
Learn more about secure online shoppingand learn how to protect yourself from shady sellers.