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Hey, Scott Austin here from JadePuma.

I just wanted to show you quickly something a client of mine showed me today that popped up in their business yesterday. It just a warning for you to see how bold spoofers are on the internet today with e-commerce. So here's my client store, the game steward. And, you know, you can see some obvious branding in there and I've got the logos, they've got their photo, you know, their images up there, you know, some rich imagery going on. So, you know, it's pretty obviously their brand and what they do is they sell board games and a lot of them are pre-order board games through Kickstarter. So here's the site that was, is spoofing them currently. And here you can see the domain in here is steward misspelled with two E's. So it's the game steward with two E's instead of one 

And you can see they they've just literally torn images off of my client's website, completely stealing their brand. Right. And putting it up on the store, including these, you know, these imagery, you know, this custom artwork they were done and their act products, right? So let's go into a product here. This is Zombicide one, and I'm just gonna search for that on the real legit store. And what you'll see is this product is for sale for $469. And the fake spoofing store is selling it right now for $69. And here's the, the key about this which is really interesting is the game steward. What they do is they sell games that are pre-order. So this game isn't out yet, and it's gonna come out months from now, after the developer's done, you know, designing the game and manufacturing it. So what you'll see, see is, or the reason that's important is they're not gonna be shipping.

If I buy this today from this fake website, I don't expect to get it right now. Right? Cause it's a pre-order it's not gonna be available over six months a year, whatever timeframe. So I'm not gonna be expecting a shipping email and a fulfillment email and all that kind of stuff in the short term. So these guys, you know, if, if they don't get taken down, which we'll talk about that in a second, right? If they weren't to get taken down, they could be collecting revenues for six months on this pre-order scheme and then just shut the store down. And then the game store to be left, you know, with, with customers who weren't their actual customers thinking they had bought from the legitimate store saying, no, I ordered a Zombicide a year ago from you as a pre-order and now it's out now where's my copy.

Right? So you can see where the unique business model of the game steward of pre-orders makes them really vulnerable to a spoof attack like this, because these guys wouldn't get caught for months because they're not fulfilling for months now, how do they get caught? How does my client know about them? What they're doing is they're advertising on Facebook, right? So, you know, the point here is this game is actually selling for $470. They're selling it for $70 or they're taking 70 of your dollars, you know, telling you they're gonna send you the game in the future, which they never will. So they're doing this serious discounting, perceived discounting as Facebook ads and some of the real game stewards customers were getting those ads showing up in their Facebook, probably because the spoofers were targeting people who either had liked the game stewards Facebook page, or had visited the, you know, you know how Facebook you do lots of detailed targeting.

So they could even, you know, target specific audiences that were, you know, likely game steward audiences and show them this deep discount and draw the traffic. So their customers were clicking on these ads and then realizing, you know, this looks a little bit like the game store, but it's definitely not. Cause it doesn't meet the quality bar of that store at all. And the only payment option here is PayPal, even though they even mimic the the cart experience of Shopify, this is not on Shopify, but you know, the, the real store is a Shopify store. The fake store is not. And the big store, if I go to the checkout, you'll see, they even mimic the Shopify checkout exp oh, the Shopify checkout experience. Right? those who've been on Shopify, you know, that this looks, this is what the Shopify checkout experience looks like.

And so you, you edit it with your branding. So, you know, they, they did a really detailed job, like pulling down these assets from the, the product there, you know, pages and the site and all that kind of stuff. And there's, you know, multiple, multiple products up in this store. So I'm, I'm totally amazed at how bold that this this theft, right, this complete theft here going on is, and how, how blatant, you know, overt these people are being, I I'm, I've never seen anything like this. I wanna document this and share with you. So now, you know, what is, what is happening, you know, to take this site down, you know, the first thing is PayPal. You know, this is the real PayPal you can, you can buy right now, this product through PayPal where you can, you can pay through PayPal, you'll never get the product, right.

So, you know, the game steward has their attorneys going out to PayPal, you know, take down that PayPal account. There's also Facebook ads going on. So there's two American companies. We just talked about PayPal and, and Facebook, and they're doing the same thing with Facebook. Like, let's see, you know, a notice and take down of the, these ads cuz they're, you know, violating brands. And then a couple other things is I went and looked on, who is right? The wrong. If you do a quick search, you'll see that their domain is registered with name silo. I've never worked at that company, but that's another company. You know, if this ever happened to you, you could look at, you know, who are they registered through? You could go through and try to talk to the domain registrar and have them, you know, revoke that that domain from them and they're hosted on CloudFare.

So they're, you know, a couple more companies that you can go talk to to get at least the content taken down, you know, this is the kind of stuff, you know, it's probably, you know, the source of is probably overseas. And that's just a guess on my part. So you could probably never really pursue them legally, you know, from a criminal standpoint, but you can at least get this egregious, you know, theft of your brand taken down from the internet. So, you know, the first, you know, places to look here are the payment provider, any ads they're doing where the domain is register and where the site is hosted. So hopefully that helps you, you know, be able to identify in the future if you're being spoofed and, you know, take some action again. And some of the actions you can take against that.

Thanks for listening.

JadePuma is a certified Shopify Expert. If you need any help with your Shopify store, we can help.