Is deal55 legit or scam? It’s Fraud and Phishing! Beware!

Trueler does not accuse deal55.com in scam, fraud, phishing or any other illegal actions yet. But there is a big concern that this “daily deals” website featuring brand name gift cards is not legitimate and just collecting e-mail addresses, credit card numbers, and other personal information. Customers, beware! Use it at your own risk! It may even charge your credit cards and disappear after with no gift cards provided. There is no information about this business at all.

(Summary of important updates after in-depth investigation is provided here in red. Details are given below in the article)

Please read an important update at the bottom of this post which proves that Deal55.com is a 100% scam.

Another update: Deal55 could also be implemented as a simplified financial pyramid robbing people! Please read through important update “Financial Pyramid” at the bottom of the article to see how this rip-off scheme works.

Deal55 has many things in common with Ontario Choice Window and Door, StubPond Inc., and UrbanDeal.ca (another daily deals website) – proofs are provided below as well.

There is also a privacy violation on deal55.com disclosing personal information of users to everyone.

Deal55 commits fraud – evidence provided.

deal55 - Logo

Deal55 offers $100 value gift cards at the cost of $45 that is 55% in savings for major stores like Best Buy, Winner’s HomeSense, Victoria Secret, La Senza, BCBG Max Azria, Williams Sonoma, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Lululemon Athletica, Guess by Marciano. It is featured across Canada in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, London, Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Quebec City, Kitchener, St. Catharines

 

The reasons to suspect that deal55.com is featuring not legit daily deals are:

 

  • Winners HomeSense is not aware of this running deal:

deal55 - comments - winners customer service

  • No customer service. Deal55 does not answer serious questions in comment for a long time:

deal55 - comments - not legit


  • Too good to be true. Daily Deals on deal55.com offer real gift cards which can be used towards anything in the store or online, even towards taxes and sale items. It has no expiration date. It is very different from what we used to see from other popular and legitimate group buying websites.
  • The daily deals featured on deal55.com become valid only when 10,000 are sold! And the limit is 10,000. This can easily mean that 10,000 will never be “sold” and deal55 will be just stealing e-mails, names, phone numbers, credit card numbers and other personal information of people across Canada.

deal55 - Terms


  • Some customers already complained that it is impossible to make a purchase with any credit card

deal55 - comments - cant buy

  • Website is very fresh. Domain name has been registered about two weeks ago. There is absolutely no information in the Internet about this “Daily Deals” website. It has extremely poor rating comparing to other similar websites.
  • When “daily deals” website starts, it operates only in one or a few cities. But deal55 started to operate in most major cities in Canada instantly! Usually it takes time to negotiate details with businesses in different provinces, because different laws may apply in Quebec and Ontario, for example.

deal55 - Cities

Beware of deal55.com! Most likely it is a scam!

 

Update as of March 11, 2011

 

Almost entire day (March 10, 2010) deal55.com was down for maintenance telling the following:

Temporarily Down for Maintenance

Thank you for your support.Due to the overwhelming requests from all of you, our servers have received too many hits.Additionally, monkeys have ransacked our server closet and have swiped our extra RAM modules. Please be patient as we resolve this matter shortly. Check back in a few hours.

Why are they telling about monkeys?! They think it is humorous. It is, but not in the case when you are dealing with real money and sensitive personal information of thousands of customers. Will they write in a couple of days something like

monkeys also grabbed all our hard drives with your credit card numbers and run away“?

deal55 - Down for Maintanance

As of morning March 11 deal55.com is online again…

 

Lululemon Athletica confirmed through Twitter (http://twitter.com/lululemon) that they have no relationship with deal55:

deal55 - twitter - lululemon

 

One of Twitter users (http://twitter.com/raintakahashi/) called HQ of Winners and La Senza and they could not confirm that their deals were legitimate:

deal55 - twitter - not legitimate

 

Trueler has received two suspicious comments on March 10 from “Sarah” and “Pat”. After tracing the origin of those comments and additional investigation, they appear to be fake and came from deal55 “co-founders” promoting this scam.

 

Another two suspicious comments have been posted by “CathyB” and “flo97″ on SmartCanucks discussion forum (http://forum.smartcanucks.ca) in “Save 55% on Brand Name Gift Cards Deal55.com” thread:

deal55 - smartcanucs - flo97

Both users registered only for the purpose of posting those comments within 10 minutes time range. I personally do not believe in such a coincidence. It is also interesting that all the commentators (on Trueler and SmartCanucks) claim that they already used gift cards for major stores provided by deal55. However, deal55 just started this scam several days ago, and “critical mass” to activate the “deal” has not been reached yet (and most likely won’t be reached).

Beware! Deal55 is a 100% scam!

Just because of two simple things:

  • Deal55.com claims that it has partnership with featured retailers – that’s why they can offer such a big discount
  • None of the featured retailers could confirm that they have any relationship with deal55 and none of them could confirm that deal55′s offers are legitimate

Proofs for the second statement have already been provided. Here is one more from deal55′s page on Facebook. They even did not bother to answer the question! It is one more evidence that it is a scam:

deal55 - facebook - no reply

Proofs for the first statement are located right on the deal55.com website in Buyer’s Guide section.

This one confirms claimed partnership between deal55 and all the featured on deal55.com retailers (click on image to enlarge):

deal55 - confirms partnership

This one confirms claimed partnership with BestBuy (click on image to enlarge):

deal55 - partner - bestbuy

This one confirms claimed partnership with Victoria Secret (click on image to enlarge):

deal55 - partner - victoria secret

 

Fake address of deal55 head office

The following address specified on deal55.com website as their head office:

Deal55.com’s head office is located at 400 Apple Blossom Drive, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6A 3B4

deal55 - apple blossom - toronto

There is no such address in Toronto. If we try to see what is located at this place – M6A3B4 – we will see Lawrence Square Shopping Centre. There is no Apple Blossom Drive nearby, and even in Toronto.

deal55 - m6a3b4

 

Lawrence Farbman – founder of Deal55?

There were several posts at different discussion forums coming from deal55 founder or admin describing how this scheme works. However, given description just made people believe that it is indeed scam.

For example, post at RFD (forums.redflagdeals.com) from “Deal55com” looks like this:

Hello everyone, my name is Lawrence J. Farbman and …

Lawrence J. Farbman

1-877-912-7882

Fax: (416) 849-0581

In fact, anyone could sign a message as Lawrence Farbman, but who needs it? If you are Lawrence Farbman and have no relation with deal55.com, please let us know. May be someone is possibly pulling a scam on behalf of you.


Ontario Choice Window and Door / StubPond Inc. / UrbanDeal / Deal55

All these companies have the same origins and the same owner – Lawrence Farbman.

On the deal55.com website in Terms and Conditions in “Deal55.com’s Copyright Policy” section there is an address given to reach Deal55:

4101 Steeles Avenue West, Suite 200

Toronto, Ontario, M3N1V7

Here is a screenshot from Deal55.com:

deal55-200-steeles

Absolutely the same address is given in the Ontario Choice Window and Door job advertisement:

deal55-200-steeles-ont-choice

This is a Toronto based company with pretty bad reputation operated by Lawrence Farbman. Their website is down at the moment (March 2011). Even Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) canceled accreditation of Ontario Choice Window and Door recently:

deal55-bbb-expired

They also advise consumers who had a business with the company with some unresolved disputes to look for legal advise because BBB were not able to contact the company at all:

deal55-bbb-out-of-business

The same address is given in a StubPond (which is just a registering name for one of the daily deals websites – UrbanDeal.ca) job advertisement:

deal55-200-steeles-stubpond

All these companies and brands are operated by Lawrence Farbman.

 

Extra expenditures of Deal55.com

Cost of the gift card is $100. Deal55 offers them for $45. There is no extra delivery expenses for Deal55, because $5 delivery cost is being added to you bill during purchase. However they promise $5 referral fee, so it is one of the additional expenses for Deal55. Therefor they have to “invest” even more than $55 per each gift card they deliver.

But there is one more, pretty expensive cost – Google AdWords! Yes, Deal55 advertises it. And it could be very expensive. Keywords which show deal55 ads on Google are very popular, like “BrandName Gift Card”. Here are some of the examples:

Lululemon Gift Card” will bring you to this ad:

deal55-adwords-lululemon

 

Best Buy Gift Card“:

deal55-adwords-bestbuy

Winners Gift Card“:

deal55-adwords-winners

Victoria Secret Gift Card“:

deal55-adwords-victoria-secret

etc…

How much does it cost to Deal55? How it can be covered? Do brand name businesses pay for it? Or do customers pay for it?

 

Financial Pyramid

It is one of the possible scenarios how Deal55 can be set up. And it explains everything!

As far as I understand, this scheme might work in this way:

  • Consumers purchase a number of deals
  • Deal55 has complete control over counters of sold deals posted on deal55.com website, and can set any numbers they want for different cities and stores at deal55′s own discretion
  • When deal55 has enough money to tip a deal for one of the cities/stores, they just declare it “tipped” by putting 10,000 on the counter and mark deal as “sold out”. Actually it can be 5000, 300, or even 15 people who actually purchased a deal for the particular city/store
  • Deal55 sends out gift cards purchased from retailers as a regular buyer (as they state now, BTW) to all customers in the tipped city/store. They have enough money because other consumers had already purchased other deals, but their cities/stores have not tipped yet
  • Deal55 has no money to purchase and send gift cards to those who paid but their cities/stores are not tipped yet. They can only issue imaginary credits into your imaginary “wallet” for future use. So these people have only a chance to get promised gift cards if deal55 will want to mark their cities/stores as tipped. It can be only in case if many more other customers will continue to purchase new deals
  • There is absolutely no guarantee that deal55 will continue to keep this scheme alive forever when new customers pay for old customers. At any convenient time Deal55 can take all the money and disappear when they think it is enough…

This is a screenshot from Deal55.com confirming that credit cards are charged immediately to purchase credits into your account wallet. It does not matter if the deal will tip or not. You will NOT get any refund in any case! This is how this scam is setup. Click on image to enlarge:

deal55-wallet

Deal55 will send out by mail many gift cards to the customers very soon, who will be very happy (unconditional 50% off for brand name stores is really unbelievable offer). And these happy customers may flood the Internet (Facebook, Twitter, other discussion forums) with happy comments and encourage other potential customers to buy new deals assuring that deal55 is safe and absolutely legit.

This is exactly what Deal55 wants - they have already asked to write comments everywhere:

deal55-facebook-comments-twit

But Deal55 can deliver only maximum of 40% of the gift cards purchased by customers.

They simply have no money for others! Or have they already invested over $40 million dollars in this project?

Guys, if you see a lot of positive comments from people who received their gift cards from deal55, don’t rush into purchasing more deals, or encourage other people! Next time you or others can be easily robbed.

Deal55 charges your card immediately after purchase of the current deal and just adds virtual credits to your wallet.

There is no any chance to get money back in case if the deal won’t tip!

There is only a chance to spend it on future deals, but will you like future deals?

Didn’t you spend your money to buy $100 gift card for $45??

Will future deals ever tip???

Will Deal55 grab enough money and disappear?????

Think about it!

Don’t even let people spread a word about this scam!

Beware! It’s just a long term rip-off!

So, the conclusion is the following:

If deal55 will send gift cards to the customers in the tipped cities/stores soon, therefore it is a pyramid ripping-off people.

If deal55 will NOT send gift cards, therefore it is just a simple phishing.

 

Update as of March 30, 2011

STUBPOND INC. 8779127882 ON

If you see this charge on your credit card statement or in online report, it comes from Deal55 (or other services provided by Stubpond Inc. if you used any). Numbers are just their registered phone number. If you don’t see this charge, but purchased something on the website, the charge could be scheduled on some future date. Don’t relax!

Privacy Violation

Further investigation of Deal55 revealed that they do not make any effort to protect users’ privacy. Personal information provided by users such as first and last name, address, etc. can be easily viewed by anyone on deal55.com website. However they are telling in the deal55 privacy policy and everywhere else that personal information is protected very well. Here are several screenshots from deal55.com website showing personal information of users. I have masked part so it does not really show full names and addresses. Click on images to enlarge:

deal55-user-address-msovec

deal55-user-address-momoftwins

deal55-user-address-juliepants

deal55-user-address-sarahsh

Providing your personal information to Deal55 also note that according to their Privacy Policy, they can (and probably will) share the information with merchants and third party service providers! As far as I understand, with anyone… Any spamming telemarketing company can be deal55′s third party service provider.

So, this case just proved that Deal55 does not respect personal information and is ready to sell it to anyone calling “merchant” or “third party service provider”.

What if the next time Deal55 will have as a “merchant” some criminals intentionally gathering such information to commit fraud?!

 

Updates as of April 2, 2011

Deal55 claims that about 20 deals have been tipped with 10,000 gift cards sold for each deal in different cities in Canada. That’s about 200,000 gift card purchases or $20 million dollars worth. Everyone can speculate around these numbers and conclude that it is not possible at all.

Let’s take a look at the actual numbers. It may be very surprising for most of us…

Number of Visitors to Deal55.com

Trueler has figured out the number of Internet users who visited deal55.com website. During the month before they claimed that many deals tipped, only 25000 global internet users visited the website. Approximately half of them from Canada. Probably after that traffic has been increased. But are 12,500 visitors able to purchase 200,000 gift cards? Average conversion rate (number of sales divided by number of visitors) in the Internet is about 3-4%. For daily deals websites it is usually higher. For deal55′s unbelievable gift card offers from brand name stores it could be much higher. Let’s say even 20%. It is still only about 2500 gift card purchases! These numbers are approximate. It can be 1000, 3000, 5000 in fact. But it can’t be 200,000 or even 20,000.

Actual numbers of sold gift cards

Deal55 claimed that 10,000 gift cards have been sold in every tipped city/store and marked them as “Sold Out”. But the actual numbers are far away from there. Below information has been taken from deal55.com website. Let’s take a look city by city. I think people may be interested to see how deal55 works. Click on images to enlarge if you need:

 

Ottawa

deal55-recent-deals-ottawa

 

Vancouver

deal55-recent-deals-vancouver

 

Toronto

deal55-recent-deals-toronto

 

Edmonton

deal55-recent-deals-edmonton

 

Winnipeg

deal55-recent-deals-winnipeg

 

Montreal

deal55-recent-deals-montreal

 

London

deal55-recent-deals-london

 

Hamilton

deal55-recent-deals-hamilton

 

Halifax

deal55-recent-deals-halifax

 

Calgary

deal55-recent-deals-calgary

 

Quebec City, St. Catharines, Kitchener

No deals have been tipped…

 

Totally 782 gift cards have been declared by Deal55 as tipped (if I did not miss anything).

This number of gift cards deal55 can definitely purchase as a standard buyer. But what’s next?

 

Deal55 commits fraud!

In the end of March deal55 decided to declare some deals as tipped at his own discretion in spite of real numbers of purchased deals by customers. Deal 55 informed all the people in the tipped cities/stores that gift cards will be mailed soon.

The reason for this was marketing trick.

People really started to believe Deal55 and some of the customers rushed into purchasing additional deals which were not tipped. Users started to promote this website again. Number of “likes” on Deal55 Facebook page flew up from about 300 up to 6000 in several days like never before for this page.

It is easy to conclude that now the numbers of purchased deals in “not tipped” cities/stores are bigger (probably much bigger) than those in tipped ones after excellent Deal55 promotion with 200,000 gift cards sold and mailed to happy customers.

Currently running deals are not going to be tipped because Deal55 has already spent money taken from customers who purchased these deals on 782 gift cards which they mailed (or going to) for promotional purposes.

Isn’t it a fraud already? It is!

Deals with fewer number of purchases have been tipped on purpose.

Claiming that 10,000 customers bought each deal when there were actually only several dozens (in some cases even 3-5 customers) is called false or deceptive advertisement.

Most of the customers will NOT receive either gift cards or refund, because Deal55 simply has no money to do this.

782 customers are awaiting for their gift cards now. Just imagine how happy they will be seeing gift cards from Best Buy, Winners, Lululemon, Pottery Barn, Victoria Secret in their postal boxes. Most of people will leave positive happy comments on Facebook, Twitter, etc… It would be another excellent promotion from Deal55 after which people will rush into purchasing more and more gift cards…

Stop the scam!

 

Deal55 Petro Canada Gift Card Contest Winners

There was a deal on Deal55:

Deal 55 Gift Card Contest – 100 Winners Only: $1 for $50 at Petro Canada

Deal55 - Petro Canada Contest Deal

They claimed that 707 purchases happened. That is one from each 7 people should receive the gift card. No… Actually there were only 110 purchases of this “deal”. Here is a proof from deal55.com website:

Deal55 - Petro Canada Contest Deal - Results

It means that more than 90% or people participating in this deal should receive their $50 Petro Canada gift cards. Only 10 participants should not expect it. Has anyone received it?

114 comments to Is deal55 legit or scam? It’s Fraud and Phishing! Beware!

  • Sarah

    Trueler’s note:

    WARNING!!! This comment comes from deal55 “co-founders” as well as below one from “Pat”

    Original comment:

    Hey I got a couple of these gift card deals from this website and it’s legit! These are real offers from Canadian retailers. You know it’s not a scam bc if not alot of people buy them, then you don’t get the deal. WagJag works the same way no one is questioning them.

  • Pat

    Trueler’s note:

    WARNING!!! This comment comes from deal55 “co-founders” as well as above one from “Sarah”

    Original comment:

    Hey all,

    Honestly, I’ve had a great experience with Deal55 and wanted to share it with everyone so that they can get a different perspective on this new site. I big on a card about 2 weeks ago and waited up until March 3rd to find out that the deal had gone through… I just yesterday received the card in the mail. I can honestly say that the card is legitimate, I’ve used it. I will definitely be bidding on more cards from Deal55 considering the money I’ve already saved with them – I suggest trying it out for yourself, in my opinion it’s worth it!

  • Arina

    THANK YOU,TRUELER!

  • Uhh taking posts from Smartcanucks as some sort of evidence that this site is a scam? I wouldn’t use that place as any sort of legit research ground!

    I posted this site on my deals site, I haven’t used it myself, don’t know if it’s legit or not, time will tell. And ya, all group buys sites work in the same fashion, a certain amount of people have to purchase the deal before it goes through, it’s a common practice.

  • Trueler

    Justine,

    If you could spend more than couple minutes to read through entire article, you will surprisingly discover that there ARE evidences that deal55 is a scam.

    For example:

    - Retailers (BestBuy, Shoppers DrugMart, La Senza, etc…) are not aware of this deal happening. They have no relation with deal55. It has been confirmed
    - Absolutely no customer service. Deal55 does not bother to answer serious questions
    - 10,000 deals to be sold in order to make it active
    - Recently created website featuring major retailers in most different cities in Canada
    - Many fake comments from deal55 “co-founders” at different discussion forums promoting this scam and lying about successful use of gift cards
    - Outrageous explanation for “Maintanance”

    Isn’t it enough? Do respected businesses work in this way?

    The best thing you can do is to stop advertising this scam, or at least put some warning at the top.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • admindeal55

    I’m glad to see some traction in many forums regarding our new controversial launch of Deal55.com. Harnessing the power of buying through the use of the internet community, we decided to offer something very exciting to this new web trend. Unbeatable discounts on name brand gift cards.
    Indeed we have no formal relationship with the retailers and merely purchase cards as standard buyer would. We purchase these gift cards from all major retailers across the country. We purchase high volumes when buying cards for groups, much like the travel industry offers discounts on group travelling. This process is combined with other affiliate revenue sources along with our contribution of funding to fuel this approach. Consider this as our cost per acquisition. This is where we want to be and stand behind our methodology. The result is our ability to provide our deal55.com users with these fantastic savings on all their favourite retailers.
    Inquiries: 1-877-912-7882
    Fax: (416) 849-0581

  • Trueler, I applaud you for taking the time to post this, you obviously feel very strongly about this. I am not so much advertising as just posting about it, people are talking about it and it interests many, that’s it, I am totally impartial.

    You should take a look at the comment that deal55 made towards you on my blog.

  • Trueler

    admindeal55,

    1) Why do you claim formal relationship with retailers at deal55.com website? Now you say the opposite. Where is the truth and where is the lie?

    2) Have you already purchased 10,000 gift cards from each retailer? It’s about 65 million dollars (an average of 5 running deals in 13 cities across Canada). Which discount did they offer to you for such a big volume? 60%??

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Trueler

    Justine,

    Continuing to feature an obvious scam on your daily deals website with referral link – it is not “impartial”.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Hey dude, I am not the bad guy.

  • Plus I give my opinion of what I think of the site in my post, and point out I have not used it on there too, my readers can decide on their own if they choose to use it or not. My impartial I mean that I have nothing to do with the company myself. Are you going around and telling everyone that has information on deal55 on their site this? I think you need to chill out.

  • Trueler

    Justine: No, I’m not telling everyone. Your daily deals website was the only one featuring deal55.com (and still featuring!) I could find on the top of search results. So I advised you that it is a scam. I believe people trust information you provide, and seeing new “daily deals” on your website users usually think that the deals are safe.

  • Arshes76

    LOL at Pat and Sarah

    How can you already have recived the gift cards when there’a a 10,000 purchase requirement?

  • Binky

    LOL at Justine not seeing what this is from the start.

    Obviously no one is ever selling those gift cards at 55% off lol

  • Catherine

    This thread and another thread talks about even Groupon being a scam… What’s the deal here?

  • Trueler

    Hi Catherine,

    I love Groupon and use their deals often. But I don’t like that sometimes they feature knowingly problematic deals like FTD flowers on Valentine’s Day (I guess you refer to that one) which was indeed a scam.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Princesstefer

    hey admindeal55, let just say, hypothetically, for arguments sake, that you are legit, and you are not ‘formally’ affiliated with the site, but you’ve found some way of buy these gift cards at a wholesale rate (’cause I do know that many companies will offer a wholesale incentive for giftcard purchasing, I’ve seen it in a few different incarnations)… wouldn’t it be in your best interest to come to some kind of agreement with the companies these gift cards are for, so that they are aware of what you’re doing? Makes sane business sense to legitimize, cross every t and dot every i. I’m sure if you would generate that much business for them, they’d be happy to cooperate and pass along the message to thousands of potential customers that they can trust you.

    So far, the kind of traction you’re getting in forums is not the right kind and if anything will spread which will lead to one of either two things: (if your business is legit)it will sadly fail; or (if it’s not legit) many people will be aware and angered by the scam and you will be held accountable.

  • Susan

    Deal55 is most definitely a scam. They are claiming a purchase of over 60 million dollars of gift cards and none of the retailers they are claiming to be partners with are aware of it. They claim to be new and yet two gift cards have been supposedly mailed out, when they themselves claim that deal only tips at 10 000.

  • ndrew

    deal55.com states that gift cards can be used nationwide. Why then are the deals in individual cities, if same gift card can be used in T.O as well as London and Edmonton. Why don’t they do one deal so that ten thousand mark can actually be hit. Sounds like a classic case of phishing if you ask me!

  • Evian

    Let the RCMP figure this out.

  • Melanie

    I just received this email from deal55. I’m one of those who tried to purchase a gift card but encountered an error. That was before I read about them possibly being a scam. I was hoping my order didn’t go through and my credit card information not stored in their system.

    – ——-
    From: admin@deal55.com
    Subject: Conradulations! Buyers watch out for your $45 for $100 gift card in the mail.
    Message:

    Congratulations to all of you who have collectively tipped the 55% OFF gift cards in your city. Victoria Secret, Winners, Pottery Barn, Best Buy and Lululemon buyers watch out for your $45 for $100 gift card in the mail.

    Please expect the gift card in your mailbox within 10 business days.

    Forward-to-a-Friend

    Customer Service: admin@deal55.com

    Press: media@deal55.com

    Toll-Free: 1-877-542-9259

    Thank you for your support! We hope you enjoyed your experience as much as we enjoyed developing the program,
    DEAL55.COM

  • Bored lady

    It seems to be working in a “rob Peter to pay Paul” style scheme almost pyramid style. When you sign up to purchase a deal you are technically purchasing virtual “credits” to go in your virtual “wallet”. If the deal tips then your credits go towards it. If it does NOT tip your credits stay in your “wallet” but your credit card has already and will remain charged for it since you technically purchased “credits”.

    The way I see it is like this- right now on the Winnipeg site, 27375 people have purchased a “deal” meaning deal55 has made $1,231,875.00. Only 1 deal has tipped so they have to pay out $1,000,000.00 in gift cards from Best Buy. They state in their FAQ they purchase the gift cards like regular buyers. So in essence they would have $231,875.00 left over, until the next deal tips, after paying out the initial tipped offer. Considering they have numerous deals going at once and the max hit is 10k, it is not likely they would ever have to pay out every gift card at once hence “rob Peter to pay Paul”.

    Not exactly sure how this could possibly continue, considering they would need numerous new members to continue paying out previous members. Unless they would be banking on people, who are trying to purchase a deal, forgetting about their “credits” in their “wallets”. As well as earning money through traffic on their site or marketing etc…

    I would be interested in hearing if people, who got in on the Best Buy deal, actually received their gift cards.

    I do have to add that although it could be legit, it doesn’t sound entirely legal/honest and is definitely NOT for me.

  • Trueler

    Bored lady, thanks a lot for your comment! This scenario can possibly be real.

    If this “rob Peter to pay Paul” scenario is indeed implemented by deal55, we will hear a lot of happy people who received their gift cards very soon. It may be thousands of people! And everyone else who were in doubt if it is legit will read happy comments, will be assured that it is perfectly legal, and will purchase more and more gift cards from deal55! This kind of pyramid will grow very fast. And at the end it will leave more than a half of consumers robbed.

    As I know, pyramid-type financial schemes are prohibited in most countries. So it can not be legit.

    ****************
    IMPORTANT NOTE:
    ****************

    Guys! If you read happy comments on Facebook, Twitter, RFD, or wherever from customers who received and successfully used their gift cards from deal55, do NOT rush into purchasing them! Read the above comment written by “Bored lady” and an update in the article “Financial Pyramid” and think again!

    If this scheme is true, the probability you’ll get a $100 gift card purchased for $45 + $5 delivery is less than 45%.

    Thanks and Beware!
    Trueler

  • Binky

    Of course there is no way to know if the “count” is real (I suspect not, not even close…there isn’t that many stupid people). Does it make any sense that Pottery Barn with a handful of stores in Canada was way ahead of Best Buy in the Toronto counts? No, its inconceivable

    So you can add to the scenario above. If that is happening he could fake it “tipping” with only a handful of real customers, to get them posting how great it is….then go for the real money.

  • Binky

    Also, there is no possible way he could ever acquire $1,000,000 in gift cards without having a deal with the stores. How could you even pay for that?

  • Trueler

    Hi Binky,

    I have also noticed unnatural behavior of counters. And they are updated only every 24 hours (as it is stated on their website). I believe it is definitely done to have a control over numbers.

    Right. Comparing cities with a huge difference in population and stores, there is a disproportion in the numbers of purchased deals.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Jessica-My story/encounter with deal55

    So I bought a couple of these so called “deals” and I received no confirmation email, I waited a day and still nothing in my inbox or under my account in deal 55. Found a number in the paypal transaction and called it. The guy said there is no info of my sale and will call or email me back in 48 hrs. 2 days later I get an email saying there is a record of my sale but still nothing under my account so I emailed them back to cancel my purchase. Then they go to give me a partial refund, lost $4-5 per purchase. I email them to complain and they say sorry, we like feedback and will look into posting something on our website about charges…

    What I think…
    WATCH OUT! Deals that are not tipped (and their website is poorly maintained so you don’t know if you really bought the deal and if it’s really tipped).. you do not get a full refund. This is where they make their money! The deals that are tipped… let me know if they actually send the gift cards

  • Trueler

    Jessica,

    Correct. You will NOT get a refund even if the deal expires not tipped. You are charged immediately after purchase. Deal55 does not wait for deal to be tipped. They grab money as soon as you type in you payment information.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Adrian

    I purchased a LuluLemon gift card from Deal55.com on March 23rd. The deal tipped a the next day. I never received a confirmation email, so I email them. They replied back fairly quiclkly, stating to wait until Monday and if I didn’t receive an email to contact them again. Monday morning, I did receive an email that contained a voucher for the deal I bought. It had one of those square bar codes on it, with instructions to print it off and use it at the store. So I tried that today and the store had no idea what it was and could not honour the voucher. I’ve called my credit card company and surprisingly Deal55 has not charged my credit card yet. I’ve email Deal55 asking them what the “deal” was. I’ll let you know if I get any response. Just as an FYI, my credit card company told me that if the website does turn out to be fraudulant and does not render the service they charge your for, then my purchase is complete convered by the credit card company.

  • Frugal Edmonton Mama

    Beware, Deal 55 is back up and when you visit you get a warning about the security of the site. Using a fake something or other? Perhaps something to look into?

    I love the spelling errors in the email communications. Shouldn’t this be shut down already!?

  • Jessica

    I got a partial refund because I called them up personally to complain and asked for a refund before the deal tipped. Also I used paypal so maybe that is why I got a refund. But it was partial, they charged me some fee twice and I am still trying to get a full refund. I just have yet to hear a response. The website is very shady and unreliable.

  • Kim

    I saw deal55 when it was posted to redflagdeals and the like – i signed up for 2 cards, so yes i’m a bit naive.

    After a bit of google work I reconsidered and I called my credit card company. They reassured me that if deal55 didn’t supply me with what they promised it would be considered fraud. I logged into the website and cancelled the purchases – i also took screen shots showing that i had cancelled the purchases – whoever did this website atleast made it nice and user friendly.

    Shortly after I got a mass email thanking everyone for tipping a deal, funnily enough the deals tipped were not the deals I bought. I also today got an email thanking me for buying the cards and telling me that it needed my address to ship the cards – even though I canceled the purchases.

    I sent them an email saying that I had canceled the purchases and would consider any charge to my credit card fraud.

    I have checked my credit card diligently and nothing have been charged yet.

  • Kim

    As an aside, i think there are way too many of these companies now and its easy to get scammed.

    The more scams out there the more people might stick with companies like groupon. I know that i’m thinking of cancelling/unsubscribing to the other deals (i subscribe to about 4 deals) and just going with the one that I know works and hasn’t scammed me (i bought something from wagjag – BnR cake – and it turns out BnR was just trying to get rid of stock and the cake is almost a year old and about to expire!)

  • deal55

    I bought one but after reading all of this got very scared. I opened a dispute in paypal requesting my money got refunded. I never got confirmation of my purchase or that the card would mailed.
    I got the full refund back from stubpond within 24 hours. I feel a dodged a bullet. Would reconsider once history is established on the company. Will be more vary from now on.

  • Karen

    They had 5 deals tip in Toronto alone thats over $2 million. Wouldn’t the purchase of 50 000 gift cards be news by now. When groupon did the gap deal they made headlines and same thing happened with dealfind and the butcher deal.

  • Spaz

    I’m one of those folks that purchased a few gift cards from deal 55, then started reading what people are saying after submitting my card info.

    Anyway, I received an email from Deal 55 saying that my deals tipped and the gift cards are in the mail.

    Then yesterday, I received an email saying that the cards are ready to be shipped, and that they need me to log back in and supply my mailing address – full Deal 55 message below. Should I log back in and do as they asked???
    ——————————-

    You have recently purchased the Deal55: $45 for $100 To Spend at Winner’s HomeSense 55% OFF card in Toronto. This e-mail is to remind you to complete your Deal55 user profile in order to avoid delays in shipping your gift card. If you had used a credit card on checkout when you purchased the Deal55: $45 for $100 To Spend at Winner’s HomeSense 55% OFF card, please enter the exact same billing address information inside your Deal55 profile as we cannot ship to addresses that differ from your credit card’s billing address for fraud prevention purposes. If you had used a PayPal account to purchase the Deal55: $45 for $100 To Spend at Winner’s HomeSense 55% OFF card, please enter the exact same shipping address and name that is registered in your PayPal account.

  • Trueler

    Hi Spaz,

    Thanks for the information.

    There are many facts described in the article telling what deal55 represents. Maybe you will receive promised gift cards after supplying mailing address and your name as it appears on your credit card or in PayPal. In this case you will be one of the lucky winners picked by deal55 for promotional purposes only. Many other people won’t receive neither gift card, nor refund. It is a marketing trick from Deal55 to send gift cards to some people, so they will leave happy comments everywhere. Maybe you won’t receive the gift cards even after providing mailing address.

    Deal55 violates user’s privacy by letting anyone to see personal information such as full name and address provided by the user.

    Please also take into account that Deal55′s privacy policy says that they can share personal information virtually with anyone.

    It’s your choice.

    Regards,
    Trueler

  • Jorge

    I’m confused why do we have to put information again. If we already did when we bought cards?
    Is that how it works with other orders on Internet?

  • Kate

    I signed up for an account and purchased my 1st two deals. I still haven’t received the coupon, despite being notified it was in the mail. Now when I log in, I go to buy something and it says my account is restricted. I am posting here because despite numerous messages to Customer Service via the Contact Us link, I have had no answer. Seems like they just want you to buy once, and then never again. Meanwhile they have my money from the first two transactions. Very disappointed with the lack of communication. Will advise everyone on FB that I recommended to this site!

  • Binky

    If anyone is going to receive a gift card he doesn’t want you to buy more as you’ll still only be one person saying you received them. He would want to spread whatever ones are actually being sent among as many people as possible to increase the chance of credible looking facebook and forum posts

    I see he deleted most of the negative comments on facebook. Can’t believe there are still people (that look like real people) that still believe this is all on the up and up and he can actually fund $60m worth of half price gift cards

  • Kate

    Hi Binky

    Just to let you know I was scammed by this company and have just sent a full investigative report to both W5 and CTV Consumer Alerts!

  • Kate

    This is what I sent to W5@ctv.ca and alert@ctv.ca:

    “We all know about onsite coupon companies such as OneSpout.com. They provide an invaluable service to consumers looking to purchase coupons for discounted merchandise. I use OneSpout all the time and they are top notch.

    However, recently I purchased through a site called deal55.com for coupons for $100 respectively for Winner’s and Best Buy. For $49.95 each, you would receive a giftcard in the mail. No one has yet received said giftcard, they are countless comments on this website complaining and upon further investigation, the charge that appears on my VISA card is registered to STUBPOND INC which “owns” both deal55.com AND urbandeals.ca , the latter of which is advertised through OneSpout. I have alerted OneSpout and they confirm that they have been hounded by Deal55 to take them on as a client but were extremely suspicious and said no. I made them aware of the link to Urbandeals.ca and they thanked me and said they were definitely going to investigate further. OneSpout, I repeat, is a good company.

    If you type in stubpond.com, you will be redirected to urbandeals.ca . I have now been banned from both sites. There are countless consumer reports to be found by googling both stubpond inc and deal55 and there is a comprehensive report on the founder, Lawrence Fabram, and problems he has run into before.

    I have alerted VISA to reverse the charges but am told I have to wait a further 16 days for them to investigate. Ithink this should be investigated as a matter of urgency as more and more people are getting sucked in every day. Here is a website link which tells the whole fraud story.

    http://trueler.com/2011/03/10/deal55-com-legit-scam-beware-phishing/

    and further proof at http://trueler.com/2011/03/10/deal55-com-legit-scam-beware-phishing/#comment-9290

    Please let me know if you require further information.”

    TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE THEIR FULL ATTENTION, I SUGGEST EVERYONE USE THE EMAILS ABOVE TO ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE!!!!!

  • Kate

    Also sent an email and filed a report with the Canadian Fraud Centre at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/english/home-eng.html and sent them an email at info@fraudcentre.ca.

  • Kate

    And finally, just posted on deal55.com website:
    deal55.com/toronto/topic_discussions/index/265

    Wonder how long it will stay on there!

    I DO NOT like to be scammed and feel sorry for the poor company that tries it!

  • Trueler

    Thank you Kate!

    Also note that they disclose your personal information to everyone. It definitely violates user’s privacy and can be used for fraud purposes.

    For example, under your user name everyone may see your full name (as it appears on your credit card or PayPal, as required by Deal55), your full address, number of purchased deals, gender, date of joining deal55:

    Name: K**** ****g
    Address: 3* A**** Street E, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Postal code: *****9

    I have put asterisks in order not to violate your privacy here. If you would like even this information to be removed from here, let me know please. I’ve put it here as an evidence of privacy violation by Deal55.com

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Kate

    Thanks Trueler. Wish there was a way to spread this further and faster so no more people get ripped off!

  • Kate

    Just went into their site to delete my address. Also followed the link to “Suggest a Business”. I wrote:
    The RCMP would love to hear all about you. I’m quite sure that they would offer you a deal – maybe on the time you will no doubt serve! LOL

  • Trueler

    ***************
    Important Update
    ***************

    Additional investigation showed what Deal55 represents. Refer to “Updates as of April 2, 2011″ in the article.

    They have sold just several dozens of gift cards in each tipped city/store, or even less. But some “untipped” deals probably with much more sold “gift cards” are still running and looks like are not going to be tipped.

    Regards,
    Trueler

  • Stephanie

    I just want to know how these guys can still keep the site up! Why haven’t any of the large brands used (or ripped off) by deal55 filed a “cease and desist” order against deal55 for the illegal use of their brand to promote another product/business. SO strange.

    Maybe we’ll all giving them more credit than is due and the only traffic they have are people reading threads like this :)

    If this isn’t a scam, it’s a desperate attempt to phish contact info for their other site urbandeal.ca or stubpond.com

    This reveals a scary truth that you can get away with almost anything online before someone with a badge can tell you to stop.

    .. Don’t take this seriously, IT’S A SCAM (and a poorly thought out one at that!)

  • Trueler

    Hi Stephanie,

    That’s a good question. Probably large brand stores let this scam run just because it is profitable for them. As it appears now, Deal55 purchased several dozens of gift cards from them and sent to some customers. Note, that it was done only to promote this scam, so people believe in its legitimacy. Most of the customers will be ripped-off.

    Looks like only Lululemon Athletica reacted fast and forced Deal55 to cease the offer for Lululemon gift cards. They informed customers on their Facebook page:

    lululemon athletica: “… This deal is not approved by Lululemon. We are working on having it taken down…”

    Thanks to them for effective resolution.

    According to comments on discussion forums, Twitter and Facebook, other stores have been informed about this scam happening as well, but no reaction so far…

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Adrian

    Just an update. I did get my gift card in the mail today.

    It was purchased directly from Lululemon by someone who works for Deal55.com and shipped from Burnaby, B.C..

    I checked the balance of the card on the Lululemon website, and sure enough, it had $100!

    Now, I obviously could be just one of the lucky ones that they randomly chose to send a card to, but who knows.

    I won’t be buying anymore cards until I feel the site is completely legit.

  • Colin

    The fact remains that they lied. Deals are supposed to tip at ten thousand it is pretty obvious that 50000+ gift cards were not bought. Because of all the bad publicity they were forced to tip the deals. They had no choice but to send out a few cards. Unless 50000 people come forward or the retailers reveal legitimacy I’m staying away. This will not end good!

  • Stephanie

    I agree with Colin. They needed some positive PR so they sent out some cards to keep it appear legitimate.

    Don’t fall for it.

  • Colin

    Don’t you love how irony works, the same people that are supporting deal55 and actually received the cards only did so because of trueler leaving them no option but to do so! What makes the people receiving the cards naive is without the disclosure of the scam they would have never received the cards. Still begs the question why anyone would support a scam?

  • Trueler

    I’m glad for people who received their gift cards.

    Information to consider for customers who purchased gift card deals from Deal55.com, but have not received them:

    - Deal which you purchased has already expired “untipped” or is still running.
    - Most of these deals have greater numbers of sold gift cards than deals marked by deal55 as “tipped”. You have not received your gift cards, but customers with fewer gift cards sold in each city/store received them. Do you agree with this approach?
    - You may try to contact deal55 and ask them for a FULL refund (don’t forget about shipping cost). If no luck within one day, consider taking more effective measures by filing a claim with your financial institution you used to purchase gift cards at deal55.com – PayPal or credit card company. The reason is that Deal55 commits fraud.
    - Note that in PayPal you can file a claim only within 45 days after problematic transaction. It can be changed by PayPal at anytime. The sooner is better.
    - For most of the credit card companies the limit to open a dispute is 30 days or until you pay for the statement with a problematic transaction (it means that you agree with all transactions)

    Do not delay until it is too late!

    Several examples of which deals have been declared by Deal55 as tipped and non-tipped.

    Vancouver:
    - “Pottery Barn” tipped with 8 bought
    - “Best Buy” tipped with 23 bought
    - “Shoppers Drug Mart” expired with 47 bought!

    Winnipeg:
    - “Best Buy” tipped with 5 bought
    - “Shoppers Drug Mart” expired with 10 bought!
    - “Winners” expired with 22 bought!

    Halifax:
    - “Best Buy” tipped with 6 bought
    - “Winners” expired with 22 bought!

    Edmonton:
    - “Winners” tipped with 11 bought
    - “Victoria Secret Love Pink” expired with 18 bought!

    etc…

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • evo

    Just a warning for those that received gift cards, be careful that your gift card # may have already been copied by deal55.com, and soon your gift card balance will have been “used up” before you get to use it.

  • Stephanie

    Makes sense. Monitor the balance on your gift card if you’re one of the ones who actually received one.

  • Stephanie

    It might actually be a good idea for those who have already used up their gift card balance to post their gift card ID. This would let others see if their ID is the same (forged).

  • Jacob

    My question would be for the people whom have receive the GC. Did you post on the FB business page asking them about the status or any other forums? seems the admins of 55deal specifically ask people who posted on Facebook to contact direct. Which leads me to suspect they are shipping the GC in hopes of the positive feedback they will get back.

    They are a scam regarless.. first saying they ahve working relationship with retailers (on their site) and then doing a 180 and saying they still buy direct with no affliation but use social marketing which some how returns 55% of the value which is impossible. No online advertising media would they get that much revenue and willing to give that amount back. First if they did get that much revenue they would keep it and if it is soo easy everyone would be doing it. Social media/affiliated marketing pays pennies..as in $0.01s not dollars. Bunch of liars. Also their BS about competitors is such a lame excuse. As if competitors would have time to even need to waste on these clowns.

  • dolce

    I received my one of my 2 Winners gift cards today, picked up at local post office. To make sure they do not use my GC before me, I immediately went to Winners and use the $100 to buy GC of smaller amounts (split the $100 up). I think this is a good way to prevent them using my GC. Winners is better as they dun have online shopping. BTW, do they delete the deal55 facebook page? It seems it disappeared!

  • Binky

    Farbman is complaining on another page that facebook deleted the deal55 page. I wonder about some of the people who made positive comments with completely locked privacy settings(eg no friend count)…

  • Trueler

    I noticed that the number of “likes” at deal55 facebook page increased from a small number up to several thousands in about one or two hours. I think all of them are not real users, but robots. Probably the same with comments. They needed a promotion.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Trueler

    Where is contest winners announcement for “Deal 55 Gift Card Contest – 100 Winners Only: $1 for $50 at Petro Canada“?

    If anyone interested – read an update in this post. There is no actual announcement, but some numbers instead.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Jacob

    Yep. There is a new Facebook ‘Deal55 is a SCAM’ fan page but the original business page for Deal55 is GONE! I wonder what happen to warrant the page to be deleted? Must of go some serious complaint for FB admin to yank that page. THey have over 3000+ likes.

  • Colin

    Facebook would never pull a legit “page”.
    It obviously was entirely fraudulent. Accounts were opened specifically to “like” the page.

  • shirley

    They changed the site, took off comments. I guess there were no real winners. Also look at the deals they are offering now compared to the first ones. I guess retailers did make a stink and deal55 wasn’t allowed to run their deals again. Poor people paid and are waiting to use money on deal that they want which will never come. Why haven’t they been shut down yet?

  • Stephanie

    Facebook fans and “likes” can be easily bought and it’s not expensive at all: http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2010/09/buy-facebook-fans-friends-likes/

    Don’t believe the hype!

  • Stephanie

    Notice that the “discussions” link on the site has been removed. I guess it’s too hard to mediate when everyone’s complaining at the same time.

  • Binky

    It may be about to hit the fan…from twitter

    “candailydeals: If anyone has had a negative experience with Deal55 can you please message me, it’s for a cbc story thanks!”

  • Trueler

    @Stephanie: Yes, it is easy to buy and it doesn’t surprise me. Thanks to Facebook for removing deal55 scam page and advertisements.

    Another thing I’ve noticed. Deal55 put “Past Deals – See Recent Deals that Tipped” button on their website. But they hide the numbers of actually purchased deals. So, nobody can see what number of purchases have been made in tipped and non-tipped deals. The reason to conceal this info is obvious – to continue fraud.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Trueler

    Hi Binky,

    Seems like CBC does not want to do anything about it. I’m wondering why… I see several possible reasons:

    1) It is not profitable for CBC and simply won’t give any advantages to the company
    2) The story on CBC about Deal55 may have negative impact and promote Deal55 further
    3) It will negatively affect all group buying industry by showing how easy to pull a daily deal scam is

    I honestly hope that the actual reason why CBC decided to ignore Deal55 scam is number 2)

    It is interesting that the situation about “The Butchers” deal was not covered by the mainstream media as well. I think because publications will negatively affect group buying industry which is one of the major sponsors of media companies

    CBC has contacted me twice (different representatives). I have explained situation about Deal55 to them and offered to forward their contact information to any users they want who commented on this post to get more information. I have not heard back anything from them after. So, I assume that they are not interested.

    Some words about “candailydeals” from Twitter. Justine (see his comments above) – the owner of “Canadian Daily Deals” blog (canadiandailydeals.com) publishing information about new discounts and deals. He was featuring Deal55 for over a month on his blog knowing that it was a scam (I’ve commented there during the first days in March warning him and other customers). Beware of this practice if you are a reader of that blog and use deals from there. You may easily pick some scam offer next time.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Jacob

    Ahh On FaceBook there is a user named ‘Urban Deal’ who basically says ‘Deal55 is A SCAM’ page is a Fraud, essentially supporting Deal55.com and saying FB screwed up for deleting the page. Funny thing is if you actually look up the contact ‘Urban Deal’ They only have 22 friends. Even more interesting is one of them is Lawrence Farbman w/222 friends.

    Is this the true identity of Lawrence Farbman? The very same person which we saw the initial influx of posts by a very same Lawrence Farbman on other sites such as RedFlagDeals until moderators found shill accounts tide to the same IP promoting Deal55 and Lawrence Farbman trying to defend the business model of Deal55?

    http://www.facebook.com/lawrence.farbman

  • Trueler

    Hey Jacob,

    “Urban Deal” is owned by Stubpond Inc. (Lawrence Farbman). It is covered in this article as well.

    Trueler

  • shirley

    it’s become quite clear what they are doing. People are purchasing credits for deals that will not tip to pay for deals that will. They promise the credits for future deals, except future deals are becoming less and less appealing and there is no refund. People paid for a deal that they will not receive in hopes for possibly putting money towards another deal in future….what if there will be no more deals? Then they just disappear with your money!

  • Trueler

    Deal55 does not tell that you are buying credits not a deal when doing a purchase… When you click “Buy”, it offers to make a payment for a gift card + delivery, not credits! This is very important thing.

    Another important thing: Deal55 manipulates with the counters and tips deals on its own discretion in spite of real numbers. That’s why Deal55 is a fraud.

    Trueler

  • Chris

    Another key “tell” that something is not quite right… the captcha code (the letters you have to type to verify you are a person and not a bot) on the Contact page is always the same no matter how many times you refresh or where you are connecting from. Even worse, the UrbanDeals.ca site that is related to deal55 also has the EXACT same captcha code. Even if the original intention of the site is legit (which I doubt) facts like a frequent service disruptions, cloning of the site to other domains, certificate warnings when you access the site, and “faked” captcha codes are all very good indications that this business is not professionally managed – is that someone you want to share credit card info with?

    If someone were to approach you on the street, ask for your credit card with the promise to return it to you would you do it? No! So why do people do it on the internet so freely!

  • jeff

    they take your money…and deals may or may not tip. You do not get refund, but instead possibility to put money towards future deal. SCAM! if there ever was one…

  • Colin

    Supposedly CBC is doing a story on deal55….can’t wait to see what they come up with. Would love to see the receipt for the purchase of $60,000,000 worth of gift cards, I’m sure this will go down in history!

  • Jacob

    Seems like UrbanDeals.ca is also still up and running. On UrbanDEals’s twitter they are pointing all their tweets to Deal55 deals with the latest tweet on April 15th. Also Deal55′s discussion forum have had all their posts deleted and are starting fresh.

    I also found Urban Deals’ Facebook fanpage but you can read compliants mostly. It also has 2000+ likes which I now suspect to be bought.

  • Jacob

    ..more to add about UrbanDeals.ca, in their discussion forum and FB fan page. THere are a lot of complaints from customers saying their posts have been deleted, and they can’t call URbanDeals because their business # is not working and they will not respond via emails. Apparently a few business they have featured on the site have either been closed(permanently) or unaware they had their business listed which makes their voucher invalid. HOLLLY COW! Can;t believe it!

  • shirley

    if you check out there other deal site urbandeal.ca, people are complaining there as well…no refunds for vouchers sold for retailers that have gone out of business. There are already 2 such cases with urbandeal.ca They have removed there phone numbers so that they cannot be contacted and emails are being ignored.

  • Stephanie

    Looks like Shopper’s and Indigo deals are gone as of this morning. Maybe somebody from there finally threw the book at them :)

  • Colin

    Same thing happened with the first round of deals as well. Some merchants do not want to be associated with scamming customers, kinda bad for business.

  • Jacob

    @Colin

    Scamming customers? Don’t you mean scamming vendors?

  • Colin

    @Jacob , absolutely scamming the vendors as well. My only concern about the vendors is that they really do have the power to make sure that their names are taken off the site. I know that lululemon did show concern and did have themselves removed and that is why deal55 tipped the deal almost the next day. It just seems to me that they are waiting to see how this plays out at the expensive of consumer.

  • Wilson

    I was one of the first people to purchase a Best Buy gift card from them and they actually sent me an e-mail saying the card had been mailed out on April 8th. I called Best Buy and gave them my information and they did place an order originally under my name, but canceled it on April 7th. So I’m wondering why they even bothered to tell me they shipped the card out. They have dodged 10 of my e-mails and you can never get a hold of them through the 887 number either.

    I have filed a dispute against the charges on my credit card so hopefully everything will work out. I’m surprised their site is still up and running and there isn’t more negative publicity surrounding the site. If you google deal55 you can barely find anything. PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THAT THIS IS A SCAM and it needs to be shut down ASAP.

  • Colin

    @Wilson sorry to hear that, only the people that have proof can file complaint. As soon as I checked out the site I new it was a scam…but that’s only because of my past experiences. People like you need to let authorities know, if enough people complain they will be shut down. The problem is most people are embarrassed to come forward. This is exactly why scam artists exist! Google anti-fraud and file complaint.

  • shirley

    through some investigation it was confirmed that the cards are being purchased by deal55 at full price of $100….only 1 out of 4 people will receive a card…that is the only way they can pay for cards plus profit. So it is definitely 100% SCAM! people purchasing the cards are basically gambling. If they choose to tip your particular deal then you get the card and the other deals that don’t tip but expire pay for the tipped deals and on the vicious cycle goes. Lots of people will lose their money…SHAME!

  • Katie

    I’ve had an impossible time dealing with this company–they mailed me one Best Buy card which I checked today, and it appears to be valid and still has the proper balance (going to spend it ASAP). But the two Winners cards I ordered were sent in the same kind of email previously mentioned here and the customer service coordinator at Winners was adamant that they don’t deal with this company and no one has purchased the amount of cards they claim to have available. They’ve also held all of the money for cards I tried to buy around the same time and claim it’s in my account but apparently you have to speak to them on the phone to cancel those and be refunded and I haven’t had any luck in getting a response from anyone there via phone or email. The Best Buy card was apparently purchased for me by a person named “Sarit Assor-Masuri, of 49 Daniel Bram Drive, Maple, Ontario L6A 0L4″ however, it was mailed from a Burnaby address. I’m really concerned that I won’t get my money refunded–they are currently “holding” almost $300! I’m contacting the BBB and my local media.

  • Trueler

    Hey Katie,

    Thanks for information!

    Deal55 commits fraud. Please consider filing a dispute of the charges with PayPal or your credit card company until it is too late.

    Regards,
    Trueler

  • Katie

    Thanks Trueler…I did contact my credit card company and explained it to their fraud department. They told me to try again to contact the company, note the date, time, person I spoke to (ha ha ha–as if anyone there actually ever answers the phone!) and ask for the transaction numbers of each cancellation they were to perform for me–if this was not settled in a matter of days by the company, the credit card co would cover the non-refunded transactions and move forward with their investigation into the company. I left a message with the phone number my CC company provided (different from the one I had from D55′s website) and was greeted by the exact same message I got when I called D55, except the message was for Urban Deals–I told them I was tired of trying to contact them and not getting any response (I’ve sent them emails as well that were ignored) and then I mentioned the fraud department and the Better Business Bureau. Wouldn’t you know it…this morning a representative named “Michael” called, sweet as pie, wanting to help solve my problem. Unfortunately Michael got my back up immediately by referring to me as “honey” and assured me that all of the money I’d been charged would be available in my “wallet” on the site. I had been woken up by this call so I wasn’t overly gracious, I suppose, and insisted that I don’t want it in their “wallet” I want it in mine, and I expect them to refund ALL of it to my credit card company and cancel my membership, as well as delete any personal info they may have from my account. He seemed a bit miffed but agreed and told me my credit card company would charge me a $3 processing fee for refunding each transaction which had nothing to do with them and that it would take about 7-10 days for it to show up on my card, blah blah blah. I haven’t had a chance to speak to my cc company again today but first thing in the morning I’ll be giving them an update so that it’s in their file. Ugh. What a huge pain in the ass.

  • Trueler

    there should not be any processing fees for refunds…

  • Katie

    Yeah, I suspected that but will confirm with the credit card company just to be sure. I’m calling the fraud department again in a few minutes and relaying what I wrote here. I’m thinking of asking them for an email address so I can copy them on anything between Deal55 and myself until this is settled. Not sure if they do that or not, but if they don’t I’ll just save everything for good measure. I suspect the folks at Deal55 are well aware of your site and are reading along just based on how fast they suddenly decided to deal with my complaints after ignoring me for so long. Surely I’m not the only person who’s left a message mentioning the BBB or their credit card company.

  • Kay

    I just received the following e-mail about 1.5 weeks AFTER they sent an e-mail confirming my order HAD BEEN SHIPPED:

    “We regret to inform you that your Deal55: $22.50 for $50 To Spend at Home Depot 55% OFF gift card will not be shipped as our company did not come to a neutral agreement with the retailer. If a retailer no longer wants to participate in our program, we must immediately provide a full refund to our customers.
    We can provide you with two options for a refund.
    1) We can place the funds back into your deal55.com account wallet, which can be used when checking out on any of the deals we offer at anytime. We will also compensate you with an additional $10.00CAD towards your wallet. Wallet funds do not contain expirations.
    2) We will issue you a full refund on your credit card or any other method you had used on checkout.
    Please send an email to returns@deal55.com with the option you wish to take. Include your username, email address, full name and contact info so that we can confirm your purchase.”

    I do not expect them to actually refund my card. And find it especially odd that they are asking for my account info and e-mail address so they can confirm my purchase… clearly from their e-mail they can identify who I am and what I ordered. I’ve already contacted Visa and they said they would dispute the charge if I don’t get my product. Their e-mail really doesn’t surprise me, but it just makes me even more angry about the situation, as it is pure BS. I just thought I would share it.

  • Katie

    Trueler–my credit card company confirmed what you told me earlier–that they will NOT charge me any fee for the processing of any refund and that any such charge by Deal55 would be considered a fraudulent charge which will result in an investigation.

    In other news, my account has apparently been deactivated by the admin team (I requested that they do this only AFTER they have refunded my money in full). I’m sure they’re hoping this will make it more difficult for me to prove that I made the purchases I’m claiming, but fortunately each charge has shown up on my statement and I have a plethora of emails from Deal55 confirming each purchase and letting me know that some of them had been shipped. I’ve saved all correspondence I’ve received since I signed up. Only one card (from Best Buy) was ever received–the other two they sent (supposedly from Winners/HomeSense) were bogus e-certificates, which was confirmed by the head office at Winners. Four were listed as either “expired” or “deal did not tip.”

    To add to the hilarity, this morning I received two identical emails about different purchases I made from Deal55–has anyone else had anything similar sent to them, or am I just “special”?

    from Deal55 admin@deal55.com
    to katieXXXX@XXX.com
    date Thu, May 5, 2011 at 7:58 AM
    subject Deal55: Your Card Will Not Be Shipped – PLEASE READ

    7:58 AM (1 hour ago)

    Dear XXXXXXXX.

    We regret to inform you that your Deal55: $45 for $100 To Spend at Shopper’s Drug Mart 55% OFF gift card will not be shipped as our company did not come to a neutral agreement with the retailer. If a retailer no longer wants to participate in our program, we must immediately provide a full refund to our customers.

    We can provide you with two options for a refund.

    1) We can place the funds back into your deal55.com account wallet, which can be used when checking out on any of the deals we offer at anytime. We will also compensate you with an additional $10.00CAD towards your wallet. Wallet funds do not contain expirations.

    2) We will issue you a full refund on your credit card or any other method you had used on checkout.

    Please send an email to returns@deal55.com with the option you wish to take. Include your username, email address, full name and contact info so that we can confirm your purchase.

    Deal55 thanks you for being a loyal customer and we hope to see your support in future deals to come.

    Respectfully,

    Deal55 Admin Team

  • Trueler

    Thanks Kay for information. Don’t fall into first option even if they offer $100 of additional compensation towards your wallet at Deal55.

    Regards,
    Trueler

  • Trueler

    Thanks Katie for update! Kay received the same e-mail from Deal55 – please see comment above.

  • shirley

    everything they state is clearly a lie from day one….first they claimed to be partners with all retailers, then when people actually called to confirm and all of them denied knowing deal55 they came forward with some story about purchasing the cards like everyone else accept they can do cheaper because of affiliate advertising. Now they claim not to be able to purchase the cards because “If a retailer no longer wants to participate in our program,” (direct from deal55 admin) But retailers never claimed to participate. This is a joke! a bad joke because they actually are holding on to peoples money and will never refund it. The urbandeal site has been down for 2 weeks now, wild guess what’s about to happen to deal55 site.

  • Hi there,

    A little late but I can 100% confirm CathyB and Flo97 are the same “fake” users posting that they received their cards. Ip from Hamilton.

    It’s sad and pathetic they make fake accounts on sites to make themselves look legit.

    Theres a reason why I never promoted this site on our blog.

  • I also commend you for exposing this scam!

  • Trueler

    Thanks Sally! I’ve published information that Deal55 is a scam two months ago… I’m wondering why some people do not do just a simple search on a new website and rush purchasing from it…

  • Kate

    OK so here’s my update. I have spoken to this “Michael” person twice – 3 weeks apart. He condescendingly told me the Winner’s and Best Buy vouchers are on the way. Of course, they weren’t.

    Another thing, my sister received her Winner’s voucher (the only thing she bought) so I suspect the one in four rule applies to get people to buy. My VISA card is refunding me and I have reported it as fraud to both them and the RCMP.

    Meanwhile, this morning I got an email from buy2Canada.com which I never signed up for. When I went to create a new login, they barred me, as they have deactivated my account on both Deal55 and UrbanDeals so if you look at the layout and everything about it they are the samecompany trying et anther scam! Buyers Beware and report this to the RCMP!

  • Stephanie

    They’re done. Finally!

  • Kate

    UrbanDeal.ca is gone too!!!!

  • Katie

    Let’s hope they haven’t fled the country–I would love to see these guys get what they deserve!

  • colin

    looks like deal55buzz.com is going to be their new venture. WOW! They are just not giving up. They are going to wait long enough for commotion to die down and for people to forget about their money and cards, then they will launch again….watch out!

  • jjthed

    hi, I used paypal to purchase 2 deals, but for now, their websites are always down. How can I get those money back? I, too received the email about 2 options to refund the money back to me, but till now, there is nothing to be done by them and I can’t even file a paypal appeal cuz there is a 45 days restriction on that. Please advise me on how to get the refund back?

  • Trueler

    @jjthed: You may try to contact police.

    Just a question: why did you wait for over 45 days?

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • Henry

    Deal55 is about to launch again. I’ve been keeping an eye out! I never received a refund or my gift cards. I am absolutely appalled that the website is running and that these criminals have not been shut down.

  • Jeff Lang

    Here is the person that owns Deal55.com

    ———————–

    Registrant:
    Rachel Assor
    452 Queen Street West
    Toronto, ON M5V2A8
    Canada

    Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
    Domain Name: DEAL55.COM
    Created on: 22-Feb-11
    Expires on: 22-Feb-12
    Last Updated on: 13-Jun-11

    Administrative Contact:
    Assor, Rachel simon.costica@gmail.com
    452 Queen Street West
    Toronto, ON M5V2A8
    Canada
    +1.4168508042

    Technical Contact:
    Assor, Rachel simon.costica@gmail.com
    452 Queen Street West
    Toronto, ON M5V2A8
    Canada
    +1.4168508042

    Domain servers in listed order:
    NS1.MEDIATEMPLE.NET
    NS2.MEDIATEMPLE.NET

  • Henry

    Hahahahaha….sorry can’t stop laughing! Mayor Tom Ford is taking advice from Lawrence Farbman, a known scammer. Guy knows nothing about finances nor running a business, proof is in 3 failed business ventures. Does this guy even pay taxes? WOW, what is this world coming to.

    http://www.nationalpost.com/m/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/2011/07/29/slumber-party-at-city-hall&s=Opinion

  • colin

    @jefflang, that info is recent. Deal55 was most definitely run by Lawrence J. Farbman. Look at the info at the top. He was on CBC news (on tv) defending the company as the owner, the link is posted.

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