It's a growing scam that's stealing dollars out of prom-goers' pockets: scam websites hosted overseas are claiming to sell authentic designer prom dresses, when in reality, they're selling cheap knock-offs. These sites have stolen designers' photos and are ripping off their dresses- cheaply and poorly. The dresses are made of yucky fabric, are ill-fitting and don't even look like the original. In some cases, the counterfeit dress arrives late... or not at all. The website just takes your money and runs with it!
This photo, provided by DressGoddess.com, shows an authentic Tony Bowls dress on the left, and a fake one on the right. Notice the bad fit and the off-color of the fake dress? It's pretty horrendous.
If I could list all of the counterfeit prom websites here, I'd do it. The problem is- as soon as one of them gets shut down, another one pops up, so it's hard even for the feds to keep track of them. Instead, I have a list of reputable online prom boutiques that I know are legit. I've actually spoken with a lot of the boutique owners, so I know they're safe.
If you're shopping for a dress online, protect yourself! Consider these tips, provided by DressGoddess.com:
- If the price is deeply discounted and seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- If there's no physical address or contact information listed for the "boutique," beware.
- If the style numbers are different on this site compared to other sites, that's a red flag.
- If the shipper wants to mark your dress shipment as a "gift" when it goes through U.S. customs, don't buy from them!
In order to fully protect yourself and your wallet, check out my guide on how to spot fake prom dress websites.
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