Ongoing scam update

August 17, 2018 27 Comments

12 min read

A brief introduction

Scammers have been using material from our YouTube channel, websites and Instagram to give the impression that they sell Amok hammocks. The scams have been advertised massively on Facebook and Instagram.

Most often goods paid for are not delivered - one of the world’s oldest scams! They take your money and disappear. Some people have received a regular gathered-end hammock in poor quality. To our knowledge no Amok clones or knock-offs exist.

We have contacted Facebook, Shopify and Paypal to make them stop the scams. To date we are mind blown by their lack of interest to tackle this problem properly. 

We thank you all for your continued support by reporting the ads as scam, and keeping us up to date on new scams.

Please do not place orders on suspect sites. They know what they are doing, and have tailored the price and advertising to make you think: “Hell, it looks fishy, but it’s only 30 dollars… I’ll give it a try for the fun of it”. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking funds the scammers’ advertising budget on Facebook and Instagram. Basically most of your 30 dollars are reinvested in Facebook ads that reach thousands, and recruit new scam victims.


Benxuan-SHE is one of several Facebook- and Instagram accounts that have been used to advertise the scams.

Continue reading to learn more about:

  • the scam details, and why the offers are too good to be true

  • what you can do to help us

  • how we deal with the situation

  • what Facebook, Shopify and Paypal do to prevent this (practically nothing)

Scam details

We have reason to believe that it is only one or two people or groups behind the scams.

There have been quite a few Facebook pages advertising the scams, and they link to several web-shops, but one Paypal account (WANG KUNLUN) is associated with four out of six web-shops that we know of. And the content that is stolen from our websites and social media accounts is re-used quite similarly across the various ads and web-shops.

The following Facebook- and Instagram accounts have been used to advertise the scams:

  1. Benxuan- SHE

  2. Benxuan- UUU

  3. Benxuan-mmx

  4. Bonnie Store

  5. MeiLi TAO-MVK

  6. Tumble Cat @Tumblemeow

Our trademark and copyrighted material was earlier used as a cover picture on one of the Facebook accounts used to promote the scams. Facebook seem not to care.

These web-shops, all built on the Shopify platform, have been used to scam:

  1. https://relaxlife.shop (Shut down)

  2. https://threesquirrels.shop (Shut down)

  3. https://alex1.shop/ (Shut down)

  4. https://magicqp-com.myshopify.com (Shut down)

  5. https://ontrendspower.com (Shut down)

  6. https://www.bonnie.store (Shut down)

  7. https://livepro-shop.myshopify.com/ (Shut down)

  8. https://www.goneflex.com/ (Shut down)

  9. https://komoutdoor.com/ (Shut down)

  10. https://www.phoncolmi.com/ (Shut down)

  11. https://www.gopsevenus.com/ (Shut down)

  12. https://www.shoppanite.com/ (Shut down)

Shopify have helped us remove Amok product pages from most of the web-shops above, but we expect that new product pages or web-shops under new domains can appear appear at any moment.

... and why are the offers too good to be true?

The persons behind this create a false sense of urgency, and they know how eager people are to get a $189.95 hammock for $20-30. However, it is of course, too good to be true. No one we have been in contact with (and who report to us) have received any real goods after submitting their payments to the scammers. They simply take your money and disappear, or you receive a regular gathered-end hammock in poor quality (learn more from this hammock forum thread).

To our knowledge no counterfeit Amok products or knock-offs exists. It is easy to understand that many have been tempted by the seemingly good deals, but internally in the Amok we early on understood that all of these were simply scams.

After all, $30 does not even cover the material costs alone for the original Draumr hammock, and the final purchasing price from the factory we cooperate with is multiple times such numbers. Then add payment transaction fees, ad spend and shipping.

Only after those cost are covered will Amok (or a “legit” scam company with knock-off products) start to see an income to support employee salaries and regular operating expenses.

Sure, it would be possible to use lower quality materials and make a cheaper knock-off with less functionality and quality. If we look past the point that it would be illegal and not look like the Amok product you are shown, it would still be very hard to even reach a production price close to $30, which means they would still be losing money if they actually sent you a bad knock-off.

What you can do to help

We would like to say thank you for the tremendous support we have received from our fans, followers and everyone that’s has been reaching out from the outdoor community. We are warmed that so many of you send us encouragements, and spend time to update us along the way.

It truly helps if you downvote scam ads by reporting them as “it’s misleading or a scam” or “spam”. In the top right corner of all posts on Facebook and Instagram there are three dots. By clicking the dots a drop down menu opens where you can select report ad.

Illustration post from Facebook: Several brands experience similar scams.

It still takes time to shut this down. Given the amount of upvoting (likes, comments, shares) and traction these ads have been getting by unawares, it is an uphill battle until the platforms themselves take action. This is because the Facebook- and Instagram algorithms take each upvote as a confirmation that this is legit and something people would like to see more of. So even though it helps to report the scam ads, it might not feel that way immediately.

Please also keep sending us updates about new Facebook pages and web-shops that appear.

What are we doing about the situation?

We do of course feel sorry for those who have been scammed, but there is unfortunately nothing we can do first-hand to help you out.

If you placed an order using Paypal you can use their buyer protection. You can claim a chargeback via Shopify if you paid using one of the site’s standard payment method.

The sooner you claim your money back for non-delivered items, the sooner the sites can be shut down, preventing further people from being scammed.

We work hard to stop the scams by filing official trademark and copyright infringement claims to Facebook, Shopify that is used to build the sites, and Paypal which is one of the payment methods used on five of the six currently known scam web-shops.

In the next section you can read more about their lack of willingness to solve this situation.

What do Facebook, Shopify and Paypal do?

Facebook

Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook, Inc.) clearly have a scam and counterfeit ad problem, but they seem not to truly care. 

It took Facebook 14 days to tell us that:

“The team can only disable pages where they are impersonating a company/brand's presence. This is not the case here”.

Basically what Facebook say is that they won’t close a Facebook page regardless of trademark infringement, copyright infringement, or advertising sites that scam people or sell counterfeit goods - as long as the Facebook page itself doesn’t impersonate a company or brand (meaning use of someone’s trademarks and copyrighted content as profile- and cover pictures, and publishing posts pretending to be the original brand).

Now we’re waiting (probably another 14 days or more) for their response on our trademark and copyright infringement claims for separate ads and posts published under the Facebook pages mentioned above.

We consider this to be bad business policy from Facebook, especially when considering how much they profit from the scam ads running on Facebook and Instagram.

Shopify

We must say that Shopify have been more helpful than Facebook and Paypal.

They have at least removed individual product pages based on our trademark- and copyright infringement claims, but it doesn’t free Shopify from criticism.

Yes, they do shut down individual product pages, but they do not shut down the actual sites running the scams. Removing individual product pages may help for half a day, but it doesn’t prevent the scam store owners from creating an exact copy of the site under the same domain. And people still get scammed from the same web-shops, just not by Amok products.

Paypal

Paypal’s reply to our claims:

I understand that you have concerns regarding a company that you feel has copied your products, and website.

We cannot contact the seller because of these claims. This is nothing against you, but we need valid proof to further investigate this. As soon as a seller gets a complaint of a purchase if that is for not being received, or the product not being as described, we will start our investigation to see why the seller can't satisfy the buyers”.

For more than one week we have received numerous messages from people who have been scammed, and have filed claims to PayPal’s Buyer Protection. And, yes, you’re right, the Paypal accounts are still live and making money on these scams.

To summarize: we’re not overly happy with how these large companies handle scams, and trademark- and copyright infringement.

And one more thing, to keep you from getting scammed in the future we suggest giving this a read: https://www.thesslstore.com/blog/5-ways-to-determine-if-a-website-is-fake-fraudulent-or-a-scam/

Stay tuned for updates. And please leave a comment if you have further information about the ongoing scams, we read them all!




27 Responses

Tapio
Tapio

September 13, 2018

It is a relief to know that I am not the only one who was stupid enough to believe that it is possible to buy something so impressive with so low a price (35,88.) To help others to avoid this scam I made complaint to PayPal and here https://www.complaintsboard.com/
I look forward to buy the real Amok product which I didn’t know to exist before this scam.

JK
JK

September 07, 2018

Got caught in the same hammock scam. Supposedly from relaxlife, and the vendor on my Visa statement said PAYPAL *WANG KUNLUN. Just got off the phone with Capital One. They are issuing a charge-back to the PayPal account. I urged them to go further and block everything from this PayPal account.

John Bell
John Bell

September 06, 2018

I ordered a couple of lightning bolt cables for my iPhone through TOPEFLEX.com I got an email confirming my order that with a 3 to 4 week shipping I was going to cancel the order but now the website Is no longer available so I lost $22.50 and I’m a go to my bank to make sure that they haven’t scammer me for more I too will be more diligent in the future and this is the first time I’ve ever been scammed with online orders I guess I was the first time thank God it was no more than the $22.50
Paul Hammersley
Paul Hammersley

September 05, 2018

OK, I’m an idiot! Between 8th and 10th August I managed to fall for 2 scams from WAN KUNLUN.

One was for what looked like a complete AMOK Drem 3.0 system, one for a hammock tent type thingy. After a very long delay, 2 packages with no invoice, delivery note or any other ID arrived containing such utter substandard product that didn’t remotely resemble either of my ‘bargain’ purchases!

So, partly due to this page, I had already logged PayPal disputes which got closed because the vendor had supplied delivery tracking!
I have now actually spoken to a real person at PayPal…….yes I was amazed too!

I described the situation, I directed the chap to this page, and I told him of the scams that this vendor is pulling on several different websites.
It seems that this chap was someone reasonably senior, who actually had the authority to issue a refund for the lesser goods, reopen the case for the Amok scam case AND initiate a proper SCAM ALERT investigation into WAN KUNLUN. Result! I actually feel like I will eventually get my money back! Fingers Crossed

Myron L. Tipton
Myron L. Tipton

September 04, 2018

ok, so updating my previous comment. after being scammed and filing a complaint with PayPal , i was contacted by PayPal today saying that wang kunlun has offered a partial refund. i purchased 2 of the hammocks and did in fact receive 2 pieces of junk with no straps or instructions. after opening them all the way up, i realized that i didn’t need instructions as they were just gathered end cloth with a zippered net sewn on. i paid 57+ dollars and have been offered 34 dollars in return. i guess i can just take the money and let my grand kids play with the junk i got! it is a 23 dollar loss for me and still worth more than the trash i got, but live and learn. reading previous comments, i see that i can get a full refund if i send the junk back to china at my expense. don’t be lulled into thinking that face book only shows real ads. i’ve learned my lesson!

Myron L. Tipton
Myron L. Tipton

September 03, 2018

well. i too was scammed. same story as all the others. i ordered two of what i thought was, as it turns out, the amok hammock. i was literally in the process of sending a scathing email to shopify when my wife walked in the door with 2 hammocks in a plastic bag. i canceled the email and opened the bags. same story, 2 cheaply made hammocks with no instructions. they did get the colors correct, but they were cheap junk. after searching long and hard, i found AMOK which has been superbly helpful! i have ordered their hammock and am still very excited about the product. i will file a complaint with PayPal this morning.

OlympicSitter
OlympicSitter

August 31, 2018

I ordered 2 of these hammocks as a result of seeing a Facebook ad. I’d never heard of Amok hammocks but I thought the design was so cool I got sucked in.

I did actually received 2 bits of cloth that are nothing like the advert. I did a bit of research and found the real deal. I raised a case with PayPal and was offered a partial refund which I declined. I have now been offered a full refund but only if I send the hammocks back to China using a tracked mail service which will cost me over half of what I actually paid.

You live and learn. I’ll do my research next time

Tom Skotzki
Tom Skotzki

August 30, 2018

I’ve sent them an email one day prior to even reading this article. Ok so I log into my bank app and see WANG KUNLUN in my statement. Couldn’t put together when this purchase was made so I googled the name and it brought me to this site. Immediately after reading this I went to my paypal account to register for buyers protection and right when I logged in I saw a full refund from WANG KUNLUN. Alright so this is what I think I did right. Remember how I said I sent them an email one day before this whole shenanigans… Well that mail was as follows:

“At this point it’s been a few weeks and I’m not even sure if I’m getting scammed or not, but one thing I do know is if I don’t get an update about my order I’ll be taking this to my personal Instagram profile where 968k people will get to hear all about my experience and your outstanding scam! Have a great day :)”

One thing to note here is that I have no Instagram with such a following whatsoever haha, but I thought it’d be worth a shot so there you go, literally one day later I got a refund from them. If this helps even one person I’ll be happy :) Good luck guys and stay safe out there, I definitely learned my lesson, Amazon it is! x)

Oh and btw.. I ordered a hammock through an Instagram ad that was run by www.relaxlife.shop
Cheers!

mrdumitrupbinary@gmail.com
mrdumitrupbinary@gmail.com

August 29, 2018

DO NOT BE WORRIED ANYMORE, IF YO HAVE LOST MONEY
THROUGH ONLINE INVESTMENT PLATFORM BE ASSURED THAT
YOU RECOVER ALL WITH YOUR PROFIT, THERE I WHAT WE
CALL FALSE PAYMENT GATEWAY CODE TO RESTRICT AND
STOP THE WITHDRAWAL FROM MOST BINARY BROKERS AND
OTHERS ONLINE IINVESTMENT PLATFORM , JUST MESSAGE ME
AND I WILL HELP YOU RECOVER , WE WORK WITH MANY
FINANCIAL AND INTERNATIONAL BODIES WE GET YOUR MONEY
OUT AND PUNISH THOSE INVOLVED HELP US TO STOP INTERNET
FRAUD MY NAME IS THE EMAIL ADDRESS.
mrdumitrupbinary@gmail.com

SAY PEI KONG
SAY PEI KONG

August 27, 2018

I just received my hammock too today! So-called hammock turned out to be mosquito net hammock! LOL I filed a complaint at Paypal. Hopefully they will refund back my money to me.

Crystal Monteleone
Crystal Monteleone

August 24, 2018

I just got scammed, wish I would have seen this before I ordered. New site is https://www.topeflex.com/ and I saw them as a first search hit when I looked for a sleeping on stomach hammock through google. I will dispute the order through my CC and will buy one from you for sure!

Chris
Chris

August 24, 2018

Well, as Paypal said themselves “as soon as we receive a complaint”
They did receive a complaint from a purchase…Mine and gods know how many others
Also i received my cash back real fast.within 3 days of being a fool
The fact of the matter was that the dude was selling SHITE and there advertisement was the 270 euro Amok hammock..I pointed this out and asked them to confirm or denie it.
Let me say this in a few steps, 1st you have to raise the issue with he seller and give them chance to talk you down from a refund **you do not have to wait until the delivery time to do this.. You simply say hey, the guys who make that hammock in the movie clip are saying you do not sell there hammock could you go to there facebook please and PM them and then on AMOK’s wall both agree that your a re-seller??

This will not happen unless they are a real re seller. The replies will be regular twoddle saying they have thousands of orders to deal with and they will get to you soon..
They will 100% ignore any implication of wrong doing from the MANUFACTURER and they will say they are continuing with the trade.
I promise if you imply the real deal is a fake they will politely try to prove they are the real deal, they will not ignore a bad business accusation from anyone, the fakers will just skip over this issue as if it is not a thing..

Then you have to send another in Paypal question, ask them to address if the hammock or whatever the item is- IS the one on the picture/movie clip.

They will say yes. they will say no, In this case we know they are not re sellers you have to address this immediately and THEN contact Paypal and state your case.. you tell them that the item is not as advertised thus it is eligible for a refund you mention the website is fake and pops up n down more the whack-a-mole each time with a different name, you have to paint a kiddy picture with words but "this isnt because Paypal are incompetent, its because you have to be clear with your accusations and claims**.. you have to make sure the seller is communicating 1st because without a replie you cannot convey that you have spoken to whom ever and they understand, THEY MUST REPLY 1st..

The most important thing is not to rant at Paypal or the scamtards be cool. give them verbal rope.. Allow them the chance to talk you down they wont..All good businesses will all but bend over backwards to help ease the situation for a customer. Unless your business sounds like it is a form of coffee and for that we need litigation literaly..

You will get a refund, but you have to act fast do not wait for the bit of tat cloth they send out to get to your door, do not wait for them to send an email saying they have sent out the item ,that is 100% to late.

A side note
As mentioned i got a refund, as not mentioned yet.. chinapost dated 4 days after my paypal refund I recived a bit of cloth some twat had the cheek to call a camping hammock.

Yes they sent out a hammock 4 days after after i was given the refund.

glo oneal
glo oneal

August 24, 2018

i stupidly was so excited about the hammock/tent/rain poncho from merchant Wang Kunlun. i ordered on 8/10/2018 and then received a ‘reciept’ from Wang Kunlun. to date, no hammock at my door step and PayPal is clueless. so freaking frustrated. This merchant should be hung by their toenails .. and well, just left there

will
will

August 23, 2018

As someone who has had product go through this problem before, this will not stop until you file for a patent over in china. They will also sell the product direct to consumer via amazon or alibaba

Kellie Gilliss
Kellie Gilliss

August 21, 2018

I too am a part of the class action scam that Facebook, PayPal and Shopify are allowing to happen.

Shopify, apologized for not being able to help, PayPal is starting an active investigation and well I don’t even know where to complain on fb besides blast them on fb. I have bought many things on fb and I use PayPal because I thought I was protected. I am now thinking otherwise and have sent a statement to each telling them that I will no longer use their services and I will tell others that they are not protected when using their services to make purchases.

The times are changing and it’s time we as consumers take action to tell others about the lack luster customer service we are receiving.

Bob Caverly
Bob Caverly

August 21, 2018

Yep! Got scammed too! :( I should no better!.

Scammer was WANG KUNLUN and https://livepro-shop.myshopify.com/

I did recieve a hammock a couple of days ago – but it was of course nothing like the one advertised, and was missing straps, etc. Not even properly packaged – merely wadded into it’s stuff sack and stuck in a ziploc bag. No name, no instructions, no labeling.

Stupid me – filing complaint with PayPal.

Seth
Seth

August 21, 2018

So my “Order” has been sitting at “Processed” for a couple weeks now. I’ve sent them several emails asking for an update. Contacted PayPal – They had no record of the transaction, Shopify.com, who gave me the below*…I ended up calling my credit card and having them reverse the charges. It show’d Pay Pal WANG KUNLUN as the merchant.

I’m guessing I wont receive anything, and if I do it’ll be crap. Too bad as I’m thinking AMOK has a pretty cool product. I’m just not a hammock guy to shell out that much – don’t get me wrong, when I win PowerBall, I’ll buy at LEAST 1, but not yet…

*"I understand that not receiving goods paid for can be a frustrating affair indeed and with that we truly sympathise. However due to Shopify’s nature as a platform we cannot interfere with how stores operate or force refunds.
Each store on Shopify is it’s own business and we do not have the power to manage their business for them. A good analogy would be to think of asking the owner of a shopping mall to refund a product bought from a store leasing space within the shopping mall.
There are processes in place with your bank for these situations for you to get your money back. I recommend speaking to your bank or credit card company and notifying them of the transaction and any issue you are encountering. They should then be able to begin an investigation with the aim of retrieving your funds."

Cis polsdotter
Cis polsdotter

August 21, 2018

I also received my hammock Today. Nothing like the one in the video offcourse. Just a cheap fabric, stained all over with I don’t know What, parts missing… But most of all… just a regular hammock… Nothing in package on how te return or refund. Also made a complaint at paypal…

Odd Fredriksen
Odd Fredriksen

August 21, 2018

I ordered a big hammock and got a small one. I contacted the seller and PayPal. I hope I get my money back.

Matt
Matt

August 21, 2018

Sorry for the previous post there was an error with the comment for all the repetitive sentences.. Code glitch while posting.

Matt
Matt

August 21, 2018

I bought 3 of them.. 1 for me, 1 for my GF and 1 for a friend.

I am currently talking with Shopify giving them evidences. They seems to want to “act”.. but my bet is they will probably not take legal action against this chinese person because its gonna cost too much, they will just remove the products.. very slowly and MAYBE close the shops.

I sent email to PayPal, and complaint about the products fraud. What I have read on google forums is PayPal just really don’t care 99% of the time and they don’t refund. PayPal SUCK.

Facebook.. forget that.. sometimes I flag fraudulent profiles or profiles that try to add me as “friend” and when I look at the profil I see porn/sex video link on their wall and guess the Facebook’s answer?? The profile does not go against the facebook’s policies bla bla bla bla bla..

Facebook.. forget that.. sometimes I flag fraudulent profiles or profiles that try to add me as “friend” and when I look at the profil I see porn/sex video link on their wall and guess the Facebook’s answer?? The profile does not go against the facebook’s policies bla bla bla bla bla..My thought? I think scammers make a lot of money and have NO ACTIONS AGAINST THEM.

Facebook.. forget that.. sometimes I flag fraudulent profiles or profiles that try to add me as “friend” and when I look at the profil I see porn/sex video link on their wall and guess the Facebook’s answer?? The profile does not go against the facebook’s policies bla bla bla bla bla..My thought? I think scammers make a lot of money and have NO ACTIONS AGAINST THEM.Companies such as Shopify and PayPal just do nothing.. they really don’t care. And Facebook is BULLSHIT.

Facebook.. forget that.. sometimes I flag fraudulent profiles or profiles that try to add me as “friend” and when I look at the profil I see porn/sex video link on their wall and guess the Facebook’s answer?? The profile does not go against the facebook’s policies bla bla bla bla bla..My thought? I think scammers make a lot of money and have NO ACTIONS AGAINST THEM.Companies such as Shopify and PayPal just do nothing.. they really don’t care. And Facebook is BULLSHIT.Could be interesting if people write up here about their own developments.

Facebook.. forget that.. sometimes I flag fraudulent profiles or profiles that try to add me as “friend” and when I look at the profil I see porn/sex video link on their wall and guess the Facebook’s answer?? The profile does not go against the facebook’s policies bla bla bla bla bla..My thought? I think scammers make a lot of money and have NO ACTIONS AGAINST THEM.Companies such as Shopify and PayPal just do nothing.. they really don’t care. And Facebook is BULLSHIT.Could be interesting if people write up here about their own developments.

Jim Hansen
Jim Hansen

August 20, 2018

Also a company attached to Wang Kunlun is a company named Livepro you can no longer get hold of them.

Brad Benton
Brad Benton

August 20, 2018

Just received my big scam hammock today… poor quality standard hammock. I guess at least I got something. Submitted a complaint with Paypal.

Brian Sprouse
Brian Sprouse

August 20, 2018

I am sad to say that I was also scammed by an online store (threesquirrels.shop). I had never seen your hammock before and loved the new ideas that Amok had when designing this product. I was fooled by the way these scammers have copied your advertising. I truly should have know that the price was just too low for such a product!! I also will be filing a claim with paypal to try and recover my money.

Sherry
Sherry

August 19, 2018

I was curious about when I would be receiving my 2 tents I ordered from this place and just found out today it’s a scam! I’ve written a complaint to PayPal and hope they refund my money! I hope they refund all of us who were scammed. I dont know why I ordered these tents! I really thought an ad wouldn’t be on Facebook if it were a scam. I’m so naive too! :( please let’s keep in touch to make sure PayPal is keeping up with their word to help ppl in these situations.

Topher Eliot
Topher Eliot

August 18, 2018

Ironically it was in comments about the scam that I learned about Amok, and have ordered from them.

Lad Shore
Lad Shore

August 17, 2018

I too have been scammed by these guys. I’d never heard of Amok and the presentation of the scam prevents you from finding the true product. I figured it was a legit promo for a new-up-and-comming hammock company. How niave! Payed through paypal, and just got done filing my complaint/request for buyers protection. We’ll see if they give me my money back. Pretty sad to see this happening. The saddest part is I won’t be recieving your awesome product. I’ll need to save up for a while longer, but someday hope to enjoy my own Draumr hammock. Keep us posted!

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