Groupon Gets Scammed

Written on
Sep 17, 2010 
Gavin Dunaway  |

fraud_small.jpgADOTAS -Fraud is still alive and well online, and even hot social discount sites can fall for it. A Groupon deal in Atlanta turned ugly when users realized that the person offering the coupon was a fraud and a thief.

Dana Dawes Photography offered a $500 photo package for $65 through Groupon and 1,175 units were sold — $76,000 worth of revenue. However, in Groupon’s live discussion section, some users realized that the photographs in many of her online galleries were not hers. Quickly it became clear that she was a fraud, and Groupon refunded those who bought into the deal.

The old lesson remains true: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But Groupon better get on board with some better scanning techniques lest it lose the faith of its very large user base. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Dawes’ claims such as 1,000 pro photography sessions in one year (on location) is damned far-fetched.

Alexia Tsotsis at TechCrunch notes this isn’t the first time a highly specious deal showed up on the site. And, on a related note, here’s an interesting tale of “Groupon gone wrong.”

Gavin Dunaway is Editor, U.S. at AdMonsters, a leading trade publication, event producer and service provider for the online advertising industry. Previously, he had been Senior Editor of Adotas, where he arrived after years of ping-ponging around various industry publications. This Washington, D.C. native and George Mason University graduate also enjoys playing electric guitar so loud that the walls shake.

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