Online scammers sell shoddy dental gear

Residents are the constant target of online con artists selling poor-quality dental equipment

TULARE COUNTY – A new scam is targeting people in search of affordable dental equipment, the Better Business Bureau recently reported. 

Multiple people have reported being scammed by con artists claiming to offer expensive dental equipment like retainers, veneers or dentures at discounted rates. Victims are lured in through legitimate-looking online ads leading to websites with convincing customer videos and enticing prices. Equipment will be advertised for only a few hundred dollars instead of the thousands typically asked for by dental professionals. 

Once victims’ orders are placed, charges appear on their credit cards. Consumers have reported that products then arrive long after their cards’ dispute limits have expired, and at such a low-quality that they’re practically useless. 

“The first indication of something not quite right was the length of time to receive the product, which was nearly a full month later,” one victim reported to the BBB. “Plus, they advertised a California location, but the tracking number for my package indicated the origination point was China. When the item finally arrived, the veneers were total junk. You could find teeth like these in any Halloween costume display. It’s a total misrepresentation from the online ad.”

The BBB recommends taking the following precautions to avoid scams like this:

  • Research a company before you buy. A quick internet search of the business name and “complaints” or “scam” could reveal you’re dealing with a less than honest vendor. Always do thorough research on a company before making a purchase, especially if it’s one you haven’t heard of it before.
  •  Be wary of online ads. Search engine results and social media often feature online ads that are eye-catching and appear professional. While many legitimate businesses advertise this way, scammers do too, so don’t take every ad at face value.
  • Don’t fall for deals that are too good to be true. Many a scam victim fell for a great deal that didn’t turn out to be great at all. Scammers love to offer high-dollar products (like dental equipment) at prices way lower than the actual cost.
  • Pay with your credit card. When paying with a credit card, you can usually dispute fraudulent charges. Be sure you know your dispute time limit though. If a company hasn’t delivered by the date they promised, it’s time to file a dispute.

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