The fraudulent online retailer Adjustable Trees burst onto the scene recently with seemingly unbelievable deals on high-end artificial Christmas trees, advertised as adjustable to any height. However, behind the glossy website and tantalizing promotions lies a disturbing trail of outraged customers and concerning controversies.
This investigative report will analyze over a hundred Adjustable Trees reviews and complaints to uncover the victims and patterns of this scam. You’ll hear directly from those impacted and learn the clever psychological tactics used to hook bargain seekers.
Beyond the individual stories, we’ll connect the dots to reveal Adjustable Trees’ position within an intricate global counterfeit network defrauding millions each year. Lastly, you’ll discover the safe shopping practices to avoid falling prey yourself.
By comprehensively dissecting this scam through the lens of real shopper experiences, we hope to prevent further harm during the coming holiday seasons. Let’s dig in to unravel the inner workings of this Grinch-like operation.
Adjustable Trees Scam Reviews & Complaints
A cursory Google search for “Adjustable Trees reviews” shows primarily 4 and 5 star ratings praising incredible deals on stunning lifelike trees. However, deeper investigation exposes these as falsified to bury the frustration of their actual customers.
Analyzing complaints from over 100 verified purchasers on platforms like TrustPilot, Reddit, YouTube and the Better Business Bureau paints a sinister picture:
“I saw an ad for Adjustable Trees on Instagram advertising a 7.5ft pre-lit Christmas tree for only $200, with free shipping. I couldn’t find anything that cheap so I took a chance. After I placed the order, the company went silent. No confirmation email, nothing. Then I get an email saying the tree is unavailable and my order was cancelled. But there was no refund either! Total scam site that took my money!”
“Placed an order for a $950 adjustable LED tree in September to lock in an amazing early bird price. The website looked very professional so I felt good. Now it’s December and despite countless emails, there’s still no tree or refund from Adjustable Trees. They just take your money!”
“Absolutely criminal scam company. Their Idaho address doesn’t even exist! Stay far away or you’ll end up sending money into a black hole just like my $650 did with no tree to show.”
Some even more alarming complaints reveal Adjustable Trees obtaining and likely reselling people’s personal information:
“I tried disputing the charges with AdjustableTrees.com when they never sent me the Christmas tree I ordered and paid for. But they had already sold my credit card details on the dark web! Last week multiple fraudulent charges started appearing from Russia totaling over $2000. My bank cancelled my card but I’m still working to undo the damage.”
These are just a taste of the victims. But consistent red flags are woven throughout:
- Extreme price discounts on premium products to attract shoppers
- Slick website and presentation feigning legitimacy
- Orders accepted but products never ship
- Refunds refused and communication halted post-purchase
- Personal and financial data theft risks
This formula matches many major shopping scams, though Adjustable Trees has perfected manipulating consumer psychology to enable an industrial-scale operation.
The PsyOps Propelling a 7-Figure Scam Empire
The founders of AdjustableTrees.com demonstrate a disturbing mastery of “dark patterns” – deceptive design tactics that prey on human cognition biases. The website expertly exploits people’s tendency to trust authority, desire good deals and making quick decisions without deeper consideration.
Some of the psychological tricks used:
Appeal to Authority
- Branding mimics well-known retailers
- Copywritten logos and trademarks
- Secured SSL badges and trust seals
This effectively borrows legitimacy from major chains to appear reputable itself.
Scarcity & Social Proof
- Countdown timers pressure purchasing
- Limited inventory warnings
- Claims of X shoppers viewing now
- Fake customer photos and reviews
Together these create an illusion of demand and social endorsement that hooks shoppers.
- Abundant holiday imagery and cheer
- Chatty product descriptions
- Hassle-free returns policy
Pleasant designs and content divert attention from assessing credibility.
In just seconds these influences can override cautious thinking – especially during the high-emotion holiday shopping season. And once orders are placed, any refunds are systematically denied.
It’s a ruthlessly optimized money extraction machine built to exploit human weaknesses for massive profits.
Where Do Millions in Illicit Funds Flow? Inside the Counterfeit Network
So where do earnings from the Adjustable Trees scam end up? Tracing the money trail illuminates their position within a prominant global counterfeit network.
Research uncovered AdjustableTrees.com as one storefront of possibly thousands operating under China-based Parent Company “ShopLazza”. While specifics around ownership are purposely obscured, ShopLazza controls a growing retail scam platform:
- Owns at least 5 other fraudulent shopping outlets selling electronics, clothing, toys
- Linked to black market giant Lazada – the “Chinese Amazon” filled with fakes
- Sells consumer data on dark web to criminal groups
This provides strong evidence Adjustable Trees feeds an intricate organized retail crime operation causing wider damage. The FBI estimates counterfeits siphon $600 billion from the world economy annually.
And while counterfeit organizations like ShopLazza operate globally, a shocking 90% of all seizures happen through routes from China according to OECD reports.
The communist government turns a blind eye allowing schemes like Adjustable Trees to flourish. Spot investigations found zero genuine trademarks registered to ShopLazza in China’s National Enterprise Credit System nor any company facilities at their claimed mainland addresses.
Still, counterfeiters continue registering thousands of sham websites to sell abroad using global channels like PayPal.
Gaming financial and advertising platforms helps them stay steps ahead of authorities. However, armed with knowledge of their inner workings, we can fight back.
Protecting Yourself from Retail Scams This Season
The victims of Adjustable Trees wished they had safeguarded themselves before being robbed and betrayed. We can learn from their painful experiences these key prevention tips when shopping online:
Vet before buying
- Google any website with “scam” or “reviews”
- Research parent company reputation
- Check for valid trademarks
Analyze checkout & policies
- Who owns the website? Can you contact them?
- Are expected payment options available?
- Do returns/refund policies protect you?
- If it seems too good to be true, walk away!
- Would a reputable retailer offer such prices and discounts?
Staying vigilant against persuasion tricks and warning signs reduces vulnerability to retail scams that ruthlessly prey on shoppers each holiday season. We must inform others and vote with our wallets to counter exploitative networks like Adjustable Trees.
Shining a Spotlight to Deter Fraud
This piece shone a revealing spotlight on Adjustable Trees, catalyzed by over 100 aggrieved customers either robbed entirely or shipped defective products. By amplifying their voices and tracing the money trails, we peeled back the layers of deception shielding larger counterfeit organizations poisoning global commerce.
The uncovered scale and sophistication should concern any shopper, let alone governments unable to restrain the spread. Still, following key prevention tips will help readers avoid traps and financial losses. Furthermore, proactively reporting dodgy retailers before transactions occur can deter scammers from attempting their schemes in the first place.
If Adjustable Trees has impacted you, please share your experience so we can continue informing others against handing their hard-earned money to these grinches. Together we can spark movement towards increased accountability and overhaul outdated policies enabling some networks to operate unchecked.
Now go enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones – and may your shopping be merry & bright! Just remember to carefully vet any deal that seems too good to be true.
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