March 26, 2024

Dear Heloise: I saw an ad for a cat tree on a social media site, and since the price was so good (in fact, TOO GOOD.), I decided to buy it. Even at a bargain price it still wasn’t cheap, but the picture looked so nice that I decided to splurge.

About a month later it arrived. Instead of a cat tree that my pets could use, it was the size of dollhouse furniture. It was less than three inches tall. I had just paid nearly $70 for a useless knickknack. When I contacted them, I was told that the ad did not lie (no dimensions were given in the ad) and that if I assumed it was a full-sized cat tree that was my fault. Then they refused to refund my money, and within a week they closed down their site and were gone.

I know nothing can be done now, but I’ve learned my lesson. Buy with a credit card, not a check or gift card. Read the ad very carefully, and if it seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.

Don’t buy on social media, and investigate the company by typing in the name of the company with the word “scam” and/or “fraud” and see what pops up.

Ellen, we received a number of letters much like yours. Readers, please research a company and their products very carefully before ordering online.

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