A sophisticated scam website posing as popular retailer Bath & Body Works has tricked hundreds of customers out of thousands of dollars since November 2023. The fraudulent site “lesliesole.com” uses social media ads and deep discounts to lure in victims.
The scam starts with sponsored ads run on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok designed to look like official Bath & Body Works promotions. Displaying the company’s logo and products, the ads tout deals like “Buy 3 Get 3 Free” to attract shoppers. Clicking the link in the ads leads to a website nearly identical to the real Bath & Body Works store.
Lesliesole.com – An Elaborate Fake Store
Upon landing on lesliesole.com, victims browse what appears to be a normal Bath & Body Works online shop with products at unbelievable prices. The scam leverages major discounts to get past consumers’ defenses.
Unlike legitimate retailers, the site requires upfront payment rather than charging once an order ships. After entering credit card information, victims receive a receipt and confirmation email making the ruse complete. In reality, the orders are never fulfilled and the products do not exist.
Radio Silence After Taking the Bait
Days later when no tracking information or packages arrive, the harsh truth sinks in for victims. Many individuals report that phone numbers, such as 7204519674, listed on the site, simply don’t work. Email addresses return bounce backs or error messages.
There is no way for customers to contact the company, cancel orders, or get refunds – a purposeful strategy to prevent reversals. Credit card statements reveal charges under the name “Lesliesole” rather than Bath & Body Works.
Mass Scale Scamming Made Easy
With elaborate fake websites and social ads, scammers can deceive thousands with minimal effort. Online forums contain dozens of identical complaints about lesliesole.com bilking customers using the Bath & Body Works bait.
The operators abscond with the ill-gotten money, leaving only rage and frustration in their wake. Experts say exaggerated deals and insistence on untraceable upfront payments are giveaways of similar online scams.
Stay Vigilant Against Social Media Traps
The first step is scrutinizing every ad on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Research brands you aren’t 100% familiar with already. Hover over links to inspect the actual domain, a simple but vital move lesliesole.com victims admit to overlooking.
If an unbelievable sale seems questionable, verify it on the company’s real website before taking the bait. Use credit cards over debit when possible and avoid direct bank transfers for purchases.
Tips to Stay Safe from Fraudulent Online Sites
The lesliesole.com scheme offers a sobering reminder that all is not as it seems online. These tips can help you shop safely:
- Check out unfamiliar sites thoroughly via reviews and internet searches
- Check that domains match exactly & have valid certification
- Avoid paying upfront; use credit cards and services like PayPal
- Beware prices that seem too good to be true
- Never provide sensitive financial data to suspicious sites
- Use firewalls, antivirus software for extra security
- Don’t assume social media ads are legitimate
- Monitor statements routinely for unauthorized charges
What To Do If You Got Scammed
If you unfortunately fell for the scam, act quickly to control damages. Notify your bank and file a fraud complaint. Report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Change account passwords and monitor statements closely over the next few months. Remove payment information from retailer accounts in case it was compromised. Recouping losses may be difficult, but taking preventative measures can deter future fraud.
Final Thoughts: Stay Alert Against Growing Scam Threat
Schemes like lesliesole.com are becoming more common and sophisticated. Awareness of red flags and smart self-protection are now essential online.
Criminals will keep hatching clever ways to steal money using disguises and psychological tricks. But staying informed and being cautious can foil their plans and keep hard-earned money safe.