Got duped?

I like to consider myself somewhat savvy person. I don’t wire money to those Nigerian ministers looking for help. I don’t send my account number to banks asking for it in an e-mail. And I typically don’t forward e-mails touting great shopping deals. But I guess everyone’s allowed a few mistakes in life, huh?

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a good friend letting me know about how Nordstrom’s was buying make up company e.l.f. (eyes, lips, face) and reducing all of their merchandise to $1 in order to get rid of the old packaging. All make up was supposed to be $1. So I logged on to check it out and…EUREKA! Finally, one for the little guys! I felt like a little girl in a candy store as I happily filled my ‘shopping cart’ with bronzers, lip glosses and other sundries I don’t actually need. I forked over my credit card number and secretly congratulated myself for my good bargain shopping. Oh, and did I mention I forwarded the e-mail on to some other good friends, too, so they could take advantage of the deal?

Of course, we know there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and this is no exception. Apparently this e.l.f. stuff is ALWAYS $1 and ISN’T being bought by Nordstrom’s or anyone else for that matter. Fear struck as I thought of my credit card number being sold to foreign evil-doers planning to buy weapons of mass destruction.

I frantically called the 1-800 number on the Web site. I was able to connect with a very nice customer service lady who promptly cancelled my order. When I told her about the e-mail, she said yes, she was aware of it and no, it had not originated from them. She said they are a legitimate company that’s been around for five years and have been featured in several prominent magazines (listed on their Web site). She said their site was secure and I had nothing to worry about in terms of credit card fraud.

BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER! My confidence is shaken. I feel used. Even if that company had nothing to do with it (and I don’t know if they did or not), I feel duped. Apparently you can buy this stuff for $1 at Target any old time you want, but I know I never will. Maybe their stuff is actually great, the best make up in the world. Doesn’t matter. I won’t be trying it. I feel sort of bad because if they didn’t have anything to do with this e-mail scam, I’m blowing them off for no good reason. But I can’t get past the fact that I feel like a sucker.

Anyway, the moral of this lesson here, kids, is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. I should’ve done my homework – if I had, I would’ve seen this e-mail scam has been around for years and I could’ve promptly deleted it like I do all the other scams that come my way. Lesson learned? Check.

PS – I’m purposely not copying the original e-mail in this post because I don’t want someone to perpetuate the e-mail myth and make some other unsuspecting person fall prey to this scam. I’m sure if you Google it, you’ll be able to find it easy enough.


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