Hello, and welcome to http://www.chinesewigscam.com. My name is Julia, and I’d like to warn everyone in the UK who may be considering buying a wig online about a particularly callous scam. Vulnerable people dealing with hair loss due to cancer, alopecia and other medical conditions are being exploited by websites using .uk domains and claiming to be based in the UK, but which are really fronts for companies based in China. I wanted a wig because it seemed an easy way to get a new hairstyle I couldn’t achieve with my own hair, but for many people affordable wigs are a necessity. I hope the information laid out on this website, all of which was carefully researched and is NOT speculation or personal opinion, will prevent more victims falling into a trap that will cost them money and peace of mind at a stressful time.
In August 2018 I made the mistake of buying a wig from uwigs.co.uk. It was a spur of the moment decision and I freely admit that I didn’t look too closely at the website. It took me just a few minutes to find exactly what I was looking for:
A few days later I was dismayed to find many negative reviews of Uwigs on the internet. I had a closer look at their website and for the first time noticed two addresses in China tucked away on the ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’ pages:
DaYu Hair Factory, Ji Di Street, Yu Cheng City, Shangdong Province
Room 1003, Huishang International Building, Shouchun Road, Luyang District, Hefei City, Anhui Province
From Uwigs’ FAQ:
“Are you based in the UK? Do you have any store in UK?
We base in the UK. But we mainly do marking through network, so there is no store.”
It got worse. I could hardly believe my eyes – Uwigs is guilty of copyright infringement on an industrial scale. The photos they use show wigs designed and made by reputable firms such as Paula Young, Tressallure, Raquel Welch, Ellen Wille, Wigs4U and many others. The wig I thought I purchased is “Emily”, made by Tressallure:
Also on the FAQ page:
“Do you sell Designer or Brand Name wigs?
We sell Brand Name wigs.”
“Why are most of your wigs much cheaper than other sites?
Firstly: we have long-term cooperation suppliers, the convenient channel saves us lots of human and material resources, we mutual benefit with our customers. Secondly: we purify mode of operation, in order to meet more customers’ needs.”
This is bizarre. Not a single brand name is mentioned on the site – Uwigs merely steals photos of brand name wigs. I can think of only one reason why Uwigs includes these questions and answers: if potential customers recognise Raquel Welch or the models frequently used by Paula Young, Ellen Wille and others, they might think that Uwigs uses the same supplier as the famous brands, cutting out the middle man and therefore lowering the price of the product.
I also noticed that many of the “reviews” on the Uwigs site didn’t even describe the wigs they were supposedly praising; in fact, they were recycled over and over again on various Chinese wig scam websites. Often they could be identified as genuine reviews plagiarised from the websites of reputable retailers such as www.simplywigs.co.uk.
Fit to be Hand-Tied
Oh, dear! It was too late to cancel my order but I got in touch with Uwigs to tell them how I felt. Here, in its entirety, is my conversation with “Becky”:
Me: After buying a wig from your site I came across many negative reviews of your products online. I also noticed that many of your photos are stolen from legitimate wig manufacturers – have you ever heard of copyright infringement? – or represent celebrities who are not wearing wigs. Please be aware that if the item I purchased turns out to be unlike the photo or or poor quality I will take the matter further with Paypal. (23/8)
Becky: Thanks for your reply. Please do not worry, we received a large amount of orders from Europe and America everyday. It is normal for an online shop to receive both positive and negative reviews. Our company has been running many years, we could not promise that our every wig satisfies the buyer’s requests. We are dedicated to providing high quality products as well as excellent customer experience. Hope you can understand. (23/8)
Me: Why are you using photos stolen from other websites? The wigs you supply cannot possibly be the ones in the pictures. (23/8)
Becky: These pictures are offered by our supplier. By the way, your order is in transit now, please wait your order patiently. I wish you have a nice day! (24/8)
Me: Please try to keep your lies straight. “Suppliers” of what? On the Uwigs website you give your address as the DaYu Hair Factory – the wigs are clearly made in China and based on photos of wigs made in the USA.* Do you seriously expect me to believe that Raquel Welch and Paula Young allow you to sell their wigs without any indication that they are the manufacturers? A domain name search revealed that the DaYu Hair Factory address is associated with WigSis [more about this company later], another business with an appalling reputation. (24/8)
Me: The wig arrived today and, as I expected, is nothing like the one pictured on your site – hardly surprising as the photo is of a Tressallure wig. I will be claiming my money back through Paypal and have reported you to the Trading Standards Authority in the UK. (25/8)
Becky: We are so glad that you receive the wig but sorry you are unsatisfied. Could you please send us some pictures of the wig and the label first? That we can keep in record and find out the problem. We’ll help you solve the issue ASAP. By the way, the parcel address is not our address, if you should send your order there, the parcel will be lost. Thank you for your cooperation! (27/8)
Me: I attach photos of the wig and label. The camera flash makes the wig look silvery-grey, but it is in fact mid-grey at the front and dark grey at the back. The wig has no volume, is not cut in a spiky style and is not the right colour. It looks nothing like the wig on your website.
From your website:
“Is the picture on your website exactly the same as what I’ll receive?
Theoretically speaking is it! But we do not rule out frequency of computer display and the extrusion during shipping bring in some differences. If this happened, we suggest you take care of the wig first then wear it. If you can’t do it well, you can also go to a professional hairdresser.”
This is utter nonsense. Of course the wigs you send to unsuspecting customers aren’t the same as the ones on your website – they are cheap copies sold at inflated prices. Most, if not all, of the photos on your website are stolen from reputable manufacturers such as Tressallure, Paula Young and Raquel Welch.
More lies: you claim to be based in the UK and give your company name as UWIGS Global Co Ltd. I can find no record of such a company and you obviously aren’t based here. Your own site gives two addresses in China, one of which links you to the scam company WigSis.
Don’t waste my time by offering a partial refund or a replacement wig. You will give me a FULL refund and I’m not paying another £7 to return this cheap joke wig to China. (27/8)
Becky: Thanks fro your reply. If you are going to exchange one, you need to pay for the postage of returning back and reshipping. And we must receive the old wig firstly, then we start to make the new wig for you. The time will be very long. How about you keep the original wig or as an alternative one, we offer you a new color wig at £40. This way will be more effective. (28/8)
Me: I realise that English isn’t your first language but this is ridiculous. Uwigs is a FRAUD. You use photographs of brand name wigs to entice customers into buying rubbish, not specially made wigs. I will take the matter up with Paypal and do everything in my power to expose your disgusting scam. (28/8)
Becky: We are so sorry for all the trouble and inconvenience brought to you. Please kindly understand that the wig you ordered is customized, not in stock. We spend a lot of time and money on this wig, the prime price for this wig cost us very high. Please consider our position. If you return it to us, we won’t resell it or use it. Could you please try it once again? Or you could also keep it as an alternative wig? We would like to offer you a discount of 15% for your next order. Thankyou very much! (29/8)
Me: No, it is not “customized”. How could it be? It’s a cheap, average size mass-produced wig you’re trying to pass off as a wig made by the Paula Young company. You must be making a fortune with this fraud, which is called “bait and switch” – look it up, Becky. Why would I want any further dealings with a company whose website is a pack of lies?
This is what is going to happen. You’ll give me a return address, I’ll return this piece of trash by recorded delivery and you will refund me THE FULL COST OF THE WIG PLUS POSTAGE. I’m currently working on a website exposing Uwigs’ lies. (29/8)
Becky: Many thanks for your reply. Please know that we are just trying to solve this issue effectively. After talking to my supervisor, I was told we could offer you £35 for compensation. If you send the wig back, both sides will lose money and time, if you could accept our offer, we can refund you asap. We sincerely hope you could consider this offer. (30/8)
Me: Stop contacting me. This dispute is now being handled by the PayPal Resolution Centre, which is waiting for Uwigs’ response. Please co-operate immediately. (30/8)
*On reflection I think it’s a mistake to describe the wigs sold by Chinese scammers as ‘counterfeit’. There is no attempt to copy brand name wigs – customers describe getting wigs which bore no relation at all to the picture.
How Do You Solve a Problem Like ‘Maria’
By this time PayPal was involved and ‘Maria’ stepped forward to help.
Maria: Regrading to the pictures of Paula Young, we really don’t know about it. The pictures were provided by the supplier. We also don’t know about Wigsis, may be we have the same supplier. Hope you can understand. If you don’t like the wig, you can return it to us. Before you return it, could you please consider about partial refund? We decide to refund you £35 as compensation. If you can’t accept it, we will give you the return address and please return it by Royal Mail. Thanks for your co-operation. (30/8)
Me: You shouldn’t be communicating directly with me – the PayPal Resolution Centre is waiting for your response. And I will settle for nothing less than £69 plus whatever it costs me to return the wig to China. (30/8)
Maria: I’m sorry that the shipping fees for returning are paid by customer according to the return policy, hope you can understand. I have consulted our manger and decide to refund you £40 as compensation. Hope you can accept it. Wait for your kind reply. (30/8)
Me: “We also don’t know about Wigsis”? The WigSis site is virtually identical to yours, for the simple reason that both companies appear to be owned by the DaYu Hair Factory – which IS your “supplier”. You know exactly what you’re doing, which is defrauding customers – many of whom are cancer patients. You are the lowest of the low. Now respond to the PayPal Resolution Centre and let’s get this farce over with. (30/8)
Maria: We are deeply and sincerely sorry for bringing you such trouble and inconvenience. We have refund you £60 in PayPal, please check it and accept it. About the wig, if you want return it, you can return it, if you don’t want to return it, you can keep it. We just want to solve your case peacefully. Please allow me to show our deep apology to you again. (31/8)
Me: If you are willing to make me a partial refund of £60 I’m sure you can make me a full refund of £69. I absolutely refuse to be out of pocket due to being conned by a bunch of sociopathic liars. How much money have you made by exploiting cancer victims? Another £9 is nothing to you. (31/8)
Maria: Ok, we agree to full refund you. We will contact PayPal to refund you directly. It will take a few days for PayPal to review. PayPal will also contact you to confirm with it. When you received the refund, please kindly cancel the claim. Thanks for your cooperation. (1/9)
At last! It took ten days, but Uwigs eventually refunded my money in full and I didn’t have to return the wig, which resembles nothing so much as a small dead sloth.
All the Chinese wig scammers go out of their way to make it as difficult and expensive as possible to return wigs, with some customers trying for weeks to get a return address. I didn’t know what to make of the address on the packaging of my wig:
Unit 4, Colndale Road, Colnbrook SL3 0HQ
Was this the address of a haulage company or a warehouse used by Uwigs? But the wigs are sent from China…aren’t they?
Joanne Hunt, another victim of the Uwigs scam, was able to confirm that, contrary to Uwigs’ claim, the Royal Mail is not used to forward packages.
As Joanne points out:
“This then means:
- That if there is a non-delivery Royal Mail can only return it to the bogus address [that of the freight forwarder in Colnbrook] – it then gets lost, they (Royal Mail and Uwigs) aren’t accountable and guess what the customer is out of pocket!
- The customer can’t return it to China because there is no evidence of a Chinese address.*
*Unhappy customers have been told NOT to return their wigs to the DaYu Hair Factory or to the address in Hefei City.
Twisted Sisters: Uwigs and WigSis
First, let’s look at the WigSis banner. All five “human hair wigs” are synthetic wigs by Jon Renau, but I suppose one stolen image is as good as another.
These companies are sisters, if not clones. Their websites are virtually identical, both use the same Chinese addresses and both make the same hilariously bogus claim on their FAQ page:
“Today 13,000 salons, mainly in Europe and the USA.”
Wait a minute – I thought they conducted their business mostly online and didn’t have any stores? We’re even shown photos of what are supposed to be some of these salons. A Google Image Search for one of them revealed it to be a photo of the Bravadas Dallas Extension and Wig Store:
I informed the owner and he was NOT pleased!
North to Alaska
There’s also a http://www.wigsis.com aimed at the American market; needless to say it claims to be based in the USA. The company has an unlikely contact address:
Miss Vivian, 805A 12th Avenue, Fairbanks, Alaska.
Yes – Alaska, famed worldwide for its wig industries!
Google Earth indicates that this is a real address, possibly an apartment overlooking a car park. The address links it to another wig retailer, http://www.kimberleyshop.com, owned by Tidebuy International Limited. When I emailed Kimberleyshop I got a message from WigSis telling me that my message could not be delivered! The Kimberleyshop site vanished into thin air shortly afterwards. What’s going on here? Are WigSis and possibly Uwigs owned by Tidebuy International? I’ve asked Tidebuy to clarify this but all I get in return are emails about how to report a “shipping or quality control problem”.
Wigsbuy, another Chinese wig scam site, is owned by Tidebuy:
If you’re struggling to keep score: kimberleyshop.com, allegedly based in Alaska, was owned by a Polish branch of Tidebuy, the same Chinese company that may also own wigsis.com/wigsis.co.uk and uwigs.co.uk. Confused? My God, I know I am.
Interestingly, in June 2018 a dissatisfied customer of Wigsbuy tried for two months to get a return address. Eventually she was given one:
Tidebuy LLC, 13535 Marquardt Avenue, Santa Fe Springs, California 90670 (Tel 626 – 662 0910)
A Google search for the address only turned up two companies, ATM and safety equipment manufacturer Aramsco, and a private individual with a different phone number. A search for the address plus Tidebuy LLC returned this:
“Tidebuy LLC filed as a Domestic in the State of California on Monday, July 23, 2018 and is approximately two months old, as recorded in documents filed with California Secretary of State.
The owner is named as Yan Chi.
I wasn’t surprised to hear from Companies House that there is no record of a company named Tidebuy International Limited.
At this point I began to wonder who registered the Uwigs and WigSis domains. http://www.uwigs.co.uk was registered in January 2018 by a woman living in Nelson, Lancashire, England. I won’t publish her name and full address because, for reasons I’ll explain later, they were almost certainly used without her knowledge or consent. When I contacted the Public Domain Registry I was intrigued to learn that they were already looking into the matter.
*UPDATE! On 12 September 2018 I received the following response from the Public Domain Registry: “Please note, we have initiated the suspension of the reported domain (www.uwigs.co.uk). Please allow us 72 hours to complete this action.” On 17 September the Uwigs website was taken down. Shortly afterwards http://www.uwig.co.uk, presumably a back-up site poised to take over Uwigs’ scamming activities, was also taken down. This is an excellent result, but let’s not pour the champagne just yet. Uwigs rose out of the ashes of Vivwigs, and I’m sure the company will regenerate like a criminal Dr Who.*
http://www.wigsis.co.uk was registered in January 2018 by LEI LI of Hefei, China, who at least lives in the right country, but the three previous registrants were supposedly from the USA, England and Scotland. Their names and addresses were probably stolen.
http://www.wigsis.com was registered by…wait for it…Vivian, but her address is given as Room 1003, Huishang International Building, Shouchun Road, Luyang District, Hefei City, Anhui Province, China – Uwigs’ contact address! Previous registrants were CHONG DU of the depressingly familiar DaYu Hair Factory and the same person from Scotland who allegedly registered http://www.wigsis.co.uk. I have reported this to the relevant authorities.
(Info from http://www.easycounter.whois.com)
Update! When I searched for http://www.wigsis.com and http://www.wigsis.co.uk on 21 September I was delighted to find GoDaddy 404 Error pages. BUT…www.wigsis.com is apparently still available in the USA.
There are literally HUNDREDS of complaints about Uwigs and WigSis on various consumer websites, many of them from people suffering from hair loss due to chemotherapy or alopecia who were defrauded out of their money and received an unwearable wig – or, in some cases, nothing. I suspect that this is the tip of the iceberg, as no doubt many victims felt so stupid for being taken in they regarded it as a life lesson and didn’t complain.
Complaints about Uwigs:
Complaints about WigSis, both .uk and .com:
Highlights (or should that be lowlights):
“I am going through chemo for stage 3c breast cancer and can’t have the stress of this.”
“My wife has cancer and is losing her hair due to chemotherapy. All she wanted was a wig to match her natural hair color to help her with this difficult transition. They were NOT sympathetic to her situation.”
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer and decided to spend a bit more on something the guarantee would fit me like a glove. The wig I ordered cost $274 and was nothing, I MEAN NOTHING like what I ordered.”
“They must be making a fortune from people who have serious life threatening illnesses. DO NOT BUY.”
“The wig I ordered, in total panic at the sudden loss of hair during chemo, was an absolute joke.”
“I recently went through surgery, chemo, radiation and hormone therapy from breast cancer. My insurance company refused to cover a wig once my hair fell out so I was forced to purchase a wig on my own. I purchased the 100% hand-tied Remy human hair wig. The first time I styled it the hair began to melt like synthetic hair.”
“I ordered this wig after chemo and hair falling…the site looks genuine and I expected it to arrive quickly…chose because UK site…feel totally scammed…but then I was just desperate for a wig quickly and believed the promises.”
“As a chemotherapy patient I purchased what I thought would be a natural looking human hair wig only to be shocked when it arrived. It was the most despicable excuse for merchandise I have ever seen.”
“I have just lost all my hair through chemo and I ordered a wig from WigSis which cost £73. It looked nothing like the picture and looked terrible on me. I have complained and sent many emails asking for a refund as I am a pensioner and cannot afford to buy another one without a refund.”
“I ordered a wig some 5 weeks ago which I paid £108.00 for. This is needed as I am currently undergoing chemotherapy. When it arrived I can only say I thought it was a joke.”
“They seem to be getting away with all of this. I have lost over £400. I have breast cancer and this has been a terrible experience with this and having to deal with the breast cancer.”
“I ordered a wig in September of last year, for my mother who has breast cancer. I live on a fixed income. I paid £180.00 and never received anything.”
“I am 82 years old with advanced colon cancer. I have gone through six months of chemotherapy that failed. When I heard I would lose my hair, I jumped on the first website that looked like what I wanted. Within minutes, I changed my mind and their website said they were “processing”. They refused to refund my money. I desperately need the $160 for prescriptions and transportation.”
“On January 20 I ordered and paid for two wigs because I am undergoing chemotherapy and am losing my hair. Other than promptly taking my money, I heard nothing further from them.”
“I ordered a wig for my mother who is dying of breast cancer…I ordered it in Sept. I have never received anything from them. No wig, no refund!!! $180.00 they ripped off from me.”
“Ordered a wig to cover hair loss from radiation. They advertised full lace front, NOT…The color I ordered is nothing close to the wig I received. The style is NOTHING resembling what they sent. They refuse to refund me saying this is a “custom, hand-tied” wig. If this is hand-tied, I’ll eat a horse.”
“In the first horrific days of dealing with breast cancer, I submitted an order for a wig from this horrible business…It was hideous – I could have gotten the same quality at a costume store for about $40.”
There are only a handful of 5-star reviews for WigSis on pissedconsumer, and most of them were obviously posted by representatives of WigSis. The mind boggles at the stupidity of “LillyBrush2”, who seems to be unaware that her name appears next to her rave reviews – many of which are plagiarised from a reputable website, http://www.simplywigs.co.uk – and that as a result of stealing reviews by different people she is currently suffering from cancer, alopecia, arthritis and partial paralysis!
Let’s have a look at a typical bogus review posted on Pissedconsumer by “LillyBrush2”. Here she waxes lyrical about her experience with WigSis:
“Firstly, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Coco, who helped me buy the shade I needed and who also gave me the confidence to try this wig a shorter by far wig than I am used to. So far so good, now to the wig, delivery etc; As I said I am a girly girl, but I’m a sick girly girl who finds anything longer than below the shoulder blades impossible to look after, so my others wigs whilst still gorgeous were not looking so great because I couldn’t look after them while wearing them properly.
Due to what I mentioned coupled with my health deteriorating and my parlour changing, I began to look not great – nicest way to say it! So I came to Wigsis and was immediately drawn to this wig, but couldn’t commit. Well as I have really basically no hair on top now, I HAD to wear a wig and my choice was this wig or bald head. I bought the Butterscotch colour and was nervous, I am so glad I listened to your advice, this is a super real darker blonde with gorgeous highlights,giving that sunkissed lighter stripe we all strive to get.
It came out of the box – May I add the wig was beautifully wrapped and not curling out all different ways due to bad positioning – I followed the large tags advice of shaking the wig and fingering it, then popped it on my head. I felt like crying!!! I knocked 15 – 20 years off my age and my colouring was complimented by the wig ( I am VERY pale skinned btw) and I didn’t look so ill. This wig is below shoulder length and very manageable, feminine, pretty a great fit and looks like your own hair.
I wouldn’t have believed it! The wig is a double militiamen, meaning wherever it’s parted the hair sprouts from what looks like scalp. The silk inside covering the hand tied fibres protects the sensitive scalp from rubbing, I know I suffer terribly from sensitivity. This is the first time I have bought from Wigsis, it is not going to be my last, asap I am done here I am off to buy my second this wig – have to have a clean one – and I am going to buy one of the Comfy headbands that keeps your wig on even better than it is without.
This wig looks amazing, so real and fits well. Yes, it’s average sized, now I am known for my larger than average head but it dislikes a glove…..feels secure am very happy.”
And here’s the genuine review:
“Firstly, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Jodie, who helped me buy the shade I needed and who also gave me the confidence to try Tatum a shorter by far wig than I am used to. So far so good, now to the wig, delivery etc; As I said I am a girly girl, but I’m a sick girly girl who finds anything longer than below the shoulder blades impossible to look after, so my Joanna wigs by Hot hair, whilst still gorgeous were not looking so great because I couldn’t look after them while wearing them properly. I had always worn my Joanna wig in Harvest gold a really lovely dark blonde with fine, but lots, of blonde streaks running through. Due to what I mentioned coupled with my health deteriorating and my parlour changing, I began to look not great – nicest way to say it! So I came to Simplywigs and was immediately drawn to the Tatum, but couldn’t commit. Well as I have really basically no hair on top now, I HAD to wear a wig and my choice was Tatum or bald head. I bought the creamy toffee shade and was nervous, I am so glad I listened to Jodies advice, even on the phone I explained my needs and she could help, this is a super real darker blonde with gorgeous highlights,giving that sunkissed lighter stripe we all strive to get. Tatum came out of the box – May I add the wig was beautifully wrapped and not curling out all different ways due to bad positioning – I followed the large tags advice of shaking the wig and fingering it, then popped it on my head. I felt like crying!!! I knocked 15 – 20 years off my age and my colouring was complimented by the wig ( I am VERY pale skinned btw) and I didn’t look so ill. Tatum is below shoulder length and very manageable, feminine, pretty a great fit and looks like your own hair. I wouldn’t have believed it! The wig is a double militiamen, meaning wherever it’s parted the hair sprouts from what looks like scalp. The silk inside covering the hand tied fibres protects the sensitive scalp from rubbing, I know I suffer terribly from sensitivity. This is the first time I have bought from Simply wigs, it is not going to be my last, asap I am done here I am off to buy my second Tatum – have to have a clean one – and I am going to buy one of the Comfy headbands that keeps your wig on even better than it is without. This wig looks amazing, so real and fits well. Yes, it’s average sized, now I am known for my larger than average head but it dislikes a glove…..feels secure am very happy.”
That review by ‘Stormy’ from Scotland can be found on the Simply Wigs website:
The doctored version appears on the scam sites wigsis.co.uk, howigs.co.uk and howigsau.com – praising three different wigs!
The Displeasure of Your Company
Uwigs and Wigsis claimed to be limited companies – UWIGS Global Co. Limited and WIGSIS Global Co Limited. When I contacted Companies House in London I discovered that neither were limited companies, and that it is illegal to make this claim. After Companies House issued a warning to both Uwigs and WigSis the .uk websites were amended accordingly.
The Facebooks of Uwigs and Wigsis are every bit as phoney as their websites. Here we see Uwigs demonstrating their mastery of the old bait and switch con:
This wig can be yours for the low, low price of just £165 (supposedly reduced from £493). But a Google search revealed that THIS is the real thing:
The Ellen Wille “Gloss” wig sells for £754. I dread to think what the £165 Uwigs version looks like. And did you notice that “1 comment” on Facebook? That was mine. I exposed Uwigs’ fraud and not only was my comment deleted within hours, I’m no longer able to post there. Most of the comments on the Facebooks of Uwigs, WigSis and the similar Chinese scammers have been deleted for this reason.
The Uwigs Facebook has an interesting history. Between 22 November 2017 and 19 January 2018 Uwigs was known as “Vivwig”. This has to be Vivwigs (also known as Vivhair), which is now happily defunct.
Let’s have a look at vivwigs.co.uk, Uwigs’ last incarnation. The site was supposedly registered in May 2017 by a woman living in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England – almost certainly another stolen name and address. There’s also a vivwigs.com.
Complaints about Vivwigs, .uk and .com:
“The wig was nowhere near the colour I ordered and was in an appalling state. Lucia told me to respect the fact that it’s taken weeks to make the wig and costs the company money!”
“I ordered 2 wigs for my 12 year old daughter who suffers with alopecia. Both took weeks to come and on arrival were nothing like the pictures or descriptions on the website…The emotional damage they have done to a 12 year old is disgusting. We are now £350 shorter and having to source a wig from somewhere else.”
“I paid £130 for a wig following chemotherapy and have suffered the same fate as all the previous people on here. The “wig” was awful and looked as though a child had made it.”
“Just as everyone else has said, complete joke wig – having chemo so couldn’t really afford – they are complete scum.”
“As soon as I placed the order I cancelled, no more than 4-5 minutes had elapsed, but this company has simply bombarded me with offers of discounts instead. I am a chemo patient and cannot afford to lose money like this.”
Oh, What a Tangled Wig We Weave
There are quite a few other Chinese wig scams using .uk domains (which is not in itself illegal), although not all of them explicitly state they are based in the UK. Let’s have a look at the current crop.
http://www.howigs.co.uk was supposedly registered on 15 February 2016 by a woman living in Southend-on-Sea, England. I managed to contact her via Facebook and she was astonished to learn that her name and address had been stolen by these scammers (Nominet is currently investigating this).
Another excellent result – http://www.howigs.co.uk has been taken down!
The alleged registrant of http://www.howigs.com is a woman living in Townville, Queensland, Australia, who almost certainly has no idea that she owns the domain of a Chinese wig scam website! GoDaddy has been informed of this.
Update: when I searched for http://www.howigs.com on 20 September all I got was a GoDaddy 404 Error page. Another scam site bites the dust! I also came across http://www.howigsau.com, predictably registered with a false name and address, but when the Public Domain Registry took the site down they did so specifically because of counterfeiting. Hopefully this will also apply to the remaining Chinese wig scam sites.
The model on Howigs’ banner is wearing Gabor’s ‘Gala’ wig, which retails for about £88. The generic Howigs version, if indeed it bears any resemblance to the original, costs £65.
There is no contact address, but according to the FAQ page:
“Are you based in the UK? Do you have any store in UK?
We base in UK. But we mainly do marking through Hongkong, so there is no store.”
Yet, as is frequently the case with these scammers, the ‘About Us’ page features photos of “salons and wig stores” we are presumably meant to think are run by Howigs.
Complaints about www.howigs.co.uk:
Complaints about www.howigs.com:
“Hi I need address to howigs. Please help they have ripped me off. I have cancer and heartbroken that they would do that.”
“An absolute rip off. My wife is fighting cancer and did not need this trouble.”
“Its awful going through cancer and trying to look better and having to deal with them.”
“This company is targeting vulnerable customers and this has to stop, no empathy, no professionalism, no ethics whatsoever, I am totally stressed out which is not good for my health.”
“I am suffering with cancer and going through chemotherapy, I just didn’t have the patience to keep fighting with them.”
YOURWIGS and EWIGS
http://www.yourwigs.co.uk and http://www.ewigs.co.uk were both supposedly registered by a woman living in Eastbourne, England. I would be astonished if she has even heard of these websites. The previous registrant of both domains is listed as living in Australia. Nominet has been informed.
On Yourwigs’ ‘About Us’ page we’re told that all of their wigs are hand made, “which provide good quality”. Testimonials from delighted customers Altheide (?!), Gloria and Julia also appear on virtually every other Chinese wig scam website. There is no contact address. Yourwigs’ banner is interesting:
The pictured wig, which I couldn’t even find on the site, is in fact ‘Haily’ by Tony of Beverly:
Complaints about Yourwigs:
That’s the ‘Angela’ wig by Estetica. If you want it you won’t find the genuine article on the Ewigs website.
Complaints about Ewigs:
There’s at least one comical mistake on the Ewigs site. Even if potential customers didn’t recognise Raquel Welch wearing one of her line of wigs, Ewigs gave the game away by forgetting to use a generic photo of a wig cap. The one they used shows the cap of a Raquel Welch wig, complete with her name in large type!
There’s only one review but it’s hilarious:
“This hairstyle has a quality of precision added to it. This medium wig speaks loudly of it. This wig colour is very rare and is different from others this thing has added to its quality and worth. I am in love with it. MATTHEW” (Posted on 10/5/2017)
The Ewigs version costs £139. This is the real thing:
Does that face look familiar? It’s Julianne Hough of Dancing with the Stars, and I’ll bet neither she nor her agent know her image is being used as part of an advertisement.
http://www.nextwigs.co. uk claims to be based in the UK but doesn’t provide an address. http://www.nextwigs.com (motto: “Profession Wins Trust”) is supposedly based in the USA…and gives an address which turns out to be that of Clippinger Chevrolet (now closed) in Covina, California!
The surprisingly spacious HQ of Nextwigs.com. And hang on… Nextwigs Global Co Ltd? Where have we heard something like that before?
I think the next photo sums up in one image the exploitation of cancer patients by the Chinese wig scam sites:
PAITENTS. They couldn’t even be bothered to spell the word correctly.
The mistake has now been corrected.
(That’s the Bobbi Boss ‘Sweetie’ wig, and I think the repeated words in small type say “SHARE NORDIC HOME, LIFE, CREATIVE”. I have no desire to share a Nordic home with Nextwigs.)
There’s even a ‘Wigs for Cancer’ section in which readers are informed that “We have decades of experience with providing wigs for cancer patients.” Remarkable, bearing in mind that the Nextwigs.com domain wasn’t created until November 2014. And one of the photos in this section, originally created for hairstylists, is worth sharing:
The ‘wig’ costs $85/£65. Cigarette not included.
Complaints about Nextwigs, both .uk and .com:
“Took forever to receive the product. Product is cheap looking and does not look like what they advertise. My mother had just completed radiation for brain tumours and wanted a wig…she passed before receiving the wig. I have been going back and forth with company to return it and I am just getting a runaround.”
“I lost my hair due to a transplant…I used what little extra money I had to buy this wig and then on top of that had to spend an additional £200.00 to get it fixed!”
The image used on Prowigs’ banner turns up all over the internet on hair, beauty and spa websites.
Neither http://www.prowigs.uk nor http://www.prowigs.com provide an address. The .uk domain was supposedly registered on 13 September 2013 by a man whose address turns out to be the Anaheim Corporate Centre in California. I could find no connection between the name and any of the businesses currently listed at the Centre. Nominet has been informed.
Complaints about http://www.prowigs.uk:
“I’ve lost £100 because of wanting to look better after illness. They are shameful.”
“I ordered this wig knowing my chemotherapy treatment was soon to rob me of my hair. The advertised website looked genuine and in UK, but it’s not. It’s in China…SHOCK HORROR – it was nothing like the wig advertised and wasn’t even human hair.”
“I purchased a wig for my mother who was undergoing chemo for stage 4 lung cancer, her next bout meant that she would lose her hair and looking good was important for my mother. We had ordered the wig in late June for delivery before the 14th July, my mother died on 13th July and the following day, with no wig in sight, we cancelled the order, stating that my mother had passed away and it was no longer required. We then received email after email addressed to my deceased mother giving her tracking info, despite being told that she had passed away.”
Back in 2015 blogger ‘The Life With No Limits Girl’ had an unhappy experience with http://www.prowigs.co.uk.
Read about it here: http://baldjourney.blogspot.com/2015/03/prowigscouk-review.html
This is the wig she thought she was buying (it isn’t even a wig – the photo is used to advertise Milky Way brand human hair weaves):
This is what she got:
I got a malware warning when I tried to visit http://www.wigshow.co.uk and I couldn’t connect with http://www.wigshow.com, but http://www.wigshow.co.uk had the dubious honour of being featured on ‘Ripoff Britain’:
http://www.wigshow.co.uk was registered in January 2012 by WEI PANG of Shanghai.
Complaints about Wigshow:
“My wife purchased a wig during her cancer treatment from this so-called British company (based in China). Nothing received, and when I ask for a refund, silence.”
“I paid a lot of money for 2 wigs and they were so awful I could not wear them, and as a cancer patient I was looking forward to them and need to have them!”
“I was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer and after a couple of treatments of chemo my hair started falling out so I shave it off. I went online and the wigshow.co.uk website came up first. I chatted to a lovely consultant online who said the website was based in the UK. The company is clearly not in the UK because when the package finally arrived it had Chinese writing on it. The wig is the ugliest wig I have seen and is not even close to the item I ordered.”
Wigshow is the veteran of the Chinese wig scam – complaints date back to 2012.
Both http://www.wigsmart.co.uk and http://www.wigsmart.com have now vanished but they left a lot of unhappy customers in their wake. The .uk domain was supposedly registered by a woman living in Tennessee.
The photo that enticed Keith Whitehorn into buying a wig still appears on many Chinese wig scam sites and elsewhere.
I couldn’t trace its origin but I suspect it’s more likely to be an image used by hairstylists than a wig.
Complaints about Wigsmart:
“My young daughter, bald because of chemotherapy for her cancer, purchased two wigs for an upcoming family wedding. They cost £170. They took about six weeks to arrive and looked nothing like they should. They were appalling and caused her great distress. I then entered in correspondence with Wigsmart in an attempt to return them for a full refund. At first they refused to give me their address and consequently went on to tell me that they could not offer a refund as the wigs were custom made (this would require a personal fitting, so not true). They then asked for a sample of my daughter’s hair (very hurtful) but eventually offered me £30, which is when I realised I was dealing with a bunch of cheats and conmen.”
“Absolutely disgusted by their actions and caused a lot of unnecessary stress for my terminally ill mother in trying to get refunded via PayPal, at our expense for return.”
“I have alopecia and have been wearing wigs since 1999…I have paid over £100 for two wigs that I could not wear without looking ridiculous!”
“They send you complete rubbish such as you would find in a kids’ joke shop. Please, please avoid at all costs, especially if you need a wig because you have cancer like me. They are liars, cheats and should be prosecuted.”
Yet again, the image used in the banner crops up many times on hair, beauty and spa websites.
On their ‘About Us’ page http://www.rewigs.co.uk uses this photo:
A Google image search revealed that she is Katie Macaulay of the upmarket business ‘Wig Innovation’ of Wimpole Street, London (http://www.wiginnovation.co.uk). Needless to say she has no connection whatsoever with Rewigs. And the domains for http://www.rewigs.co.uk and http://www.rewigs.com weren’t registered until 27 November 2017 – so much for their six years of experience!
Complaints about Rewigs:
Interestingly, one of the victims gives the name – XUAN LI – and address provided by Rewigs when she wanted to return an unsuitable wig. An unhappy Nextwigs customer was given the same name and a very similar address in Hefei, China. XUAN LI is a former registrant of nextwigs.co.uk and sheswigs.com.
The image used in the banner is yet another photo popular with hair and beauty websites.
http://www.diywigs.co.uk, very unusually, makes no secret of the fact that it isn’t based in the UK. They provide an address – DIY FASHION LIMITED, Unit E36, 3/F, Wing Tat Commercial Building, 97 Bonham Strand East, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. The domain was created on 24 June 2014, and since 30 January 2015 it has been owned by a person (name withheld) at the Chase Business Centre, Southgate, London N14 5BP. But…the business was dissolved on 20 December 2015 (https://www.bizstats.co.uk/ltd/diy-fashion-ltd-09050629/).
Otherwise the website boasts the usual mixture of photos stolen from reputable wig retailers, pictures of celebrities who probably aren’t wearing wigs, and untraceable photos of the kind used by hairstylists. But Diywigs have added their own watermark, DIYWIGSBUY, to every single photo! I thought I may as well take advantage of the site’s Chat feature to have a conversation with ‘Alice’ about this:
Alice: Hello, Welcome to DIY-fashion, what can we do for you?
Me: Alice, I can’t help noticing that your site is using photographs of brand name wigs such as the Raquel Welch line. Yet they are watermarked with your company’s name! How do you explain this?
Alice: The items will looks exactly as the picture show, if the dress does not come right or not according to the order, after you try it on, you can return and have refund.
Me: That’s not what I’m asking you. Copyright infringement is illegal, and you cannot possibly supply a Raquel Welch wig not made by the Raquel Welch brand.
Alice: That is not true, we are using our own photographs.
Me: No, you aren’t. To take one example:
A Google image search reveals that this is an official photograph reproduced on many reputable sites. You are guilty of copyright infringement.
Alice: there are many designers cooperate with us
Me: If that wasn’t so absurd it would be funny. By the way, I just picked a review at random and exactly the same one appears on http://www.prowigs.co.uk, a blatantly fraudulent Chinese scam website. Do you know how easy it is to check up on such things? Your watermark reads DIYWIGSBUY. Are you affiliated with http://www.wigsbuy.co.uk or http://www.wigsbuy.com?
Me: Apparently you can’t or won’t answer that. Bye, Alice!
A little while later I questioned Alice again about a photo of Taylor Swift bearing the DIYWIGSBUY watermark. It was being used to advertise a wig when Taylor doesn’t appear to be wearing one.
Me: Alice, this photo of Taylor Swift bears your watermark. Does Diywigs own the copyright of this photo?
Alice: What’s going on
At this point Alice disappeared and took the Chat feature with her.
This is the real Raquel Welch ‘Voltage’ wig:
$135.15 is almost £103 – a far cry from what Diywigs charge for their version.
Both images in Sheswigs’ banner show hairstyles, not wigs.
http://www.sheswigs.co.uk also has no qualms about stealing photos of real people and passing them off as company employees. From the ‘About Us’ page:
Charlotte von der Lancken, Anna Lindgren, Sofia Lagerkvist and Katja Pettersson are in fact the founders of Front Design, a well-known Swedish firm of furniture and lighting designers!
Adeline is really Janise Crow, founder of ‘The Hair Lady’ home-based wig salon in State College, Pennsylvania. Of course, she has no connection with Sheswigs.
The photos of the Front Design team and Janise Crow have now been removed from the ‘About Us’ page, presumably at their insistence.
http://www.sheswigs.com have a different ‘About Us’ page featuring what looks like a wig salon with the ‘She’sWigs’ logo painted or stencilled on one of the walls.
A Google image search revealed that Sheswigs had Photoshopped out the name ‘Rebecca’:
I emailed Sheswigs to ask why they used photos of brand name wigs they didn’t actually sell. Reply:
“Dear, thanks for your message, we do not know your meaning well. the pictures on the website are just for the wig style.
So…the photos represent the STYLE of the wig, not the wig itself. Compare this to Sheswigs’ FAQ page:
“Is the picture on your website exactly the same as what I’ll receive?
Generally speaking, it is. All the customers wish so, so do we. But something we wish to explain. Not all the computer displays shows the same and we also cannot ensure there is no extrusion during shipping. If these happens, we suggest you bring your wig to a professional hairdresser to take a care for the wig.”
Within a few minutes of contacting Sheswigs I also emailed Nextwigs about their use of Julianne Hough’s photo on the banner of their website. The reply, from “Stephen Karl”, was almost identical:
“Dear, thanks for your email, we do not know your meaning well, the pictures on our website are just for the wig style.”
Nextwigs’ FAQ page is identical to that of Sheswigs.
http://www.lacewigsbuy.co.uk provides no contact address and gives no indication of where the company is based. There’s isn’t much online information about the .uk version of the site but plenty about http://www.lacewigsbuy.com, the registrant of which is IZIGET TECHNOLOGY CO LIMITED, 2-16 Huan Yuang Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong (there’s also an Iziwigs). More about Iziget:
“Thanks for visiting Lacewigsbuy.com. Lacewigsbuy.com is one of IZIGET Co’s websites. IZIGET is a transnational corporation which supplies valuable products to people worldwide, such as wigs, wedding dress, etc. As a company established more than 10 years, you can trust us in shopping security, product quality and customer service. When you purchase from us, you can get not only best quality items at affordable price but also the first class service.
IZIGET used to be the OEM* factory of Raquel Welch, Jon Renau and Revlon for ten years.
At present, IZIGET has offices in Hong King, India and Canada, which makes us can offer you premium quality wigs at low price….
We describe our products truthfully and no false advertisement.”
*OEM – An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer.
“Truthfully and no false advertisement”?! Lacewigsbuy is unusual in using photos of actual wigs on wig-stands, but there are plenty of stolen photos of brand name wigs and celebrities – all bearing the Lacewigsbuy watermark!
And is there really an office in Canada? Elswhere Lacewigsbuy gives its address as 5208 19A St NW Edmonton, AB T6H 4W3, Canada 4W3,(https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/lacewigsbuy.com)
The same address is used by Hairextensionbuy and Izidental, and appears to be that of a house in a suburb of Edmonton. Iziget was also behind http://www.izidresses.com, notorious for using stolen photos of exquisite designer gowns and sending customers badly-made “interpretations”:
Complaints about http://www.lacewigsbuy.com:
http://www.wigstyle.co.uk was registered in 2013 by YUZHANG of Fujian, China.
The image used on Wigsstyles’ banner is popular with hair, beauty and spa websites. And note the reference to non-existent “top brands”.
http://www.wigsstyle.co.uk claims to be based in London but doesn’t provide an address.
Over and over again victims of Chinese wig scam sites use the same words to describe the monstrosities they received – fancy dress, costume, joke shop, Halloween, etc. Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves.
£62 reduced from £149? But it looks like something you could buy at a fancy dress shop! Oh, wait…
Yes – Wigsstyle is using a photo of a joke wig worth less than £12 to represent a wig worth £62! If I had £62 to waste I’d be tempted to buy it and see what I got for my money. The joke wig may well be made in one of the factories which supply all the scam sites with their merchandise. There could be no clearer proof that the scammers simply trawl the internet for photos to use on their sites, and whoever picked this little beauty couldn’t read English.
Aaliyah and Olivia (Since 2011)
This site was brought to my attention by a contributor to Simply Wigs’ List of Fraudulent Wig Companies blog: “They scammed me, took my money and I never received a tracking number or wig.”
First of all, I can find no evidence that Aaliyah and Olivia’s company was founded in 2011. Both their website (details of registrant withheld) and Facebook were created on 20th August 2018. There are red flags all over the site: poor English (“we own a team of elite staffs”), no address or phone number, ridiculous claims (“Aaliyah&Olivia is the #1 recommended hair company by over 60,000 hair stylists across the country, making it the most trusted hair brand on the market”), and the usual selection of stolen photos. Here’s a group of their “elite staffs”:
Thanks to Google Image Search it took me just a few seconds to find out that these ladies are in fact employees of the Fresno branch of Strut Wigs: https://struthairsolutions.com/wigs/. Another gem:
“This picture is showing the process of wig making. Every part of the wig process is a dispensable part of the making. Therefore, all the making section is under strict supervision and inspection, which guaranteed the quality of all products.”
I think they mean indispensable, not that it matters as the photo shows Laura Adams, wig master of the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis!
Aaliyah and Olivia specialise in cheap – INSANELY cheap – human hair wigs. Many of their products cost under £25 – you’ll be lucky to find a wearable synthetic wig for that price, let alone a genuine human hair one. Wigs by Jon Renau, Raquel Welch and Ellen Wille are instantly recognisable, but no brand names appear on the site. How can A&O sell human hair wigs at these prices? “All of our products come direct from Indian suppliers, avoiding middlemen, without extra charge.”
Feast your eyes on this beautiful full lace human hair wig:
It can be yours for a mere £23.01, reduced from £75.97. And if you want to see more of it there’s a video on A&O’s Facebook:
There’s just one catch: as is obvious from the video, this item is made by Gardeaux Wigs, not A&O. Gardeaux Wigs is based in Santa Rosa, California, and makes top-of-the-range wigs costing hundreds of dollars:
The A&O ripoff of the video was also posted by ‘Cola Tree’ on Vimeo:
Some of the videos on A&O’s Facebook have been stolen from Raven Elyse TV: https://www.youtube.com/user/RavenElyseTV
Lexi Luxury isn’t too thrilled either:
And while we’re on the subject of YouTube, unhappy A&O customers have already posted videos showing themselves wearing the lace front human hair wigs they bought from A&O…which are neither lace fronted nor made from human hair. You will not be surprised to learn that they are of joke shop quality:
So who’s behind A&O? From the “Hair FAQ” page: “Today’s better quality synthetic wigs (which is all you will find at WigsBuy.com) are virtually indistinguishable from human hair, except to the most practiced eye.” Is there a connection with WigsBuy.com or has this page simply been lifted from another website? It isn’t really relevant because, according to A&O’s site, none of their wigs are synthetic! (https://aaliyaholivia.com/pages/hair-faq)
I searched for this image bearing the A&O watermark:
There were quite a few matches (minus the watermark, of course): seraphiclady.com, labeautyy.com, bopshop.com, kaynjenner.com, joywig.shop.com… Some of them share the oddly generic contact address email@example.com. Kaynjenner and Joywig also mention QANDIES LIMITED, and Joywig gives an address in China:
Ningde Hongshun E-commerce Co., Ltd. 4th Floor, No. 396, Dongwu Road, Dongxing Community, Songgang Street, Xiapu County, China.
The wig, and many others featured on the A&O site, can also be found on Fulinda Shop (https://www.beatastore.us/), which can’t decide whether it’s Fulinda, A&O or Bopshop:
“We love fashion, and we try our best to provide the most fashionable cheap imported products.
Give everyone a pleasant and comfortable shopping environment.
At the end of 20, this mall will start to operate. We only do limited selection, and many of the selected items are well received on the Internet!
All of our products are selected to the payment mode, shopping process is simple, and the shopping experience for you has brought unprecedented convenience experience!”
To complicate matters further, unhappy customers who opened a Paypal dispute with A&O discovered that the company was listed with Paypal as Highlife Technology Limited, well known for its bait-and-switch activities. No company of this name is registered at Companies House and customers have been given bogus return addresses in China.
I was amused to discover that until recently A&O had a video on Vimeo entitled ‘Aaliyah&Olivia Wig Store Tour’. Does the store look familiar? It’s the Bravadas Dallas Extension and Wig Store, a photo of which was stolen by WigSis!
To cut a long story short – YOU CAN’T BUY REAL HUMAN HAIR WIGS AT THESE PRICES. That’s all you need to know.
Update (11/12/2018): The Aaliyah&Olivia website has now vanished and the company’s Facebook seems to have been abandoned – there have been no new posts since 24th October.
Rather oddly, there was a short-lived oliviawigs.com almost identical to aaliyaholivia.com. It has since morphed into arlenewigs.com but the content seems to be the same. Is this supposed to be their HQ?
Here’s the uncropped version:
https://www.facebook.com/Findurwig-587898694960098/ (created on 2nd September 2018)
CAUTION: please put on your safety helmet and protective clothing because we’re about to fall down a rabbit hole, not into Wonderland but the Kingdom of Confusing Internet Ripoffs. This one’s a real oddity, starting with the above photo of a woman with her hair completely covered with a scarf – not exactly the obvious choice for a wig retailer! There are the usual red flags including stolen videos, ridiculous prices (a human hair wig for $21.90/£17.16) and LOTS of deleted comments. We’re given an address in the USA:
18300 Gridley Road, Studio 215, Artesia, Los Angeles, California 90701
It’s a real address and several hair and beauty businesses are based there, but there are no references to either Findurwig or Studio 215 outside Facebook.
There’s no Findurwig website but the links – at least the ones that work – lead here:
https://bynssn.com/ (created on 16th November, 2018 – only 15 days ago at the time of writing.)
“At Bynssn we love every passion and interest on Earth because it is a reference to your UNIQUENESS. And to spread exactly that…is our core vision…Since we know you want all sort of custom products, we got you covered with highly professional suppliers and production houses that we keep in close contact with and vet daily so that they fulfill Beyond Vault’s intense selection process.” The Beyond Vault website is very similar: https://www.beyondvault.com/
BYNSSN also provides an address:
BTREE LIMITED, 20H, 39 Mark Road, Hemel Hempstead, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom HP2 7BN
Just for a change this is a real limited company, incorporated in September 2016. There are three directors, one British and two Chinese.
But there’s another address on the BYNSSN Terms of Service page: QANDIES LIMITED, 2.27 Romer House, Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6EE, which is also associated with Kaynjenner.com and Joywig.shop.com. QANDIES is also a genuine limited company with one British and two Chinese directors, but they aren’t the same people as the BTREE LIMITED bosses.
But wait…we haven’t finished! From the BYNSSN FAQ page:
“Gouerdan reserves the right to deny any return request.”
A search for Gouerdan’s website led to https://otstory.com/, where you can buy watches, blingy mobile phone cases and car-related accessories…but not wigs. Much of the OTSTORY content is identical to BYSSN’s, right down to the QANDIES address.
The Gouerdan connection extends to another member of this disreputable family:
The content is very similar to Findurwig’s but WeWig’s Facebook was very shortlived – it was created on 25th November 2017 and the last post is dated 19th March 2018. Oddly, it’s impossible to link to Gouerdan.com from WeWig’s Facebook because “the link that you tried to visit goes against our Community Standards.”
Update (11/12/2018): Findurwig’s Facebook appears to have been abandoned – there have been no new posts since 21st October and critical comments are no longer being deleted.
More of the same:
I’m sure that by now I don’t need to go into details. The companies below use misleading photos, provide inadequate contact information and send customers poor quality wigs which bear no resemblance to the images on the websites:
http://www.bestwigsales.com (I suspect this domain was registered with a stolen name and address, and it has now been suspended by the Public Domain Registry).
The next three companies give the same address – Neich Tower, 128 Gloucester Road, Wan Chi, Hong Kong, China (the same address used by Howigs). Their domains were allegedly registered by people living in the USA who probably have no idea that their names and addresses have been stolen. I have passed this information on to the Public Domain Registry.
International Men of Mystery…
Some of the scam websites mentioned above didn’t disclose any details of the registrant:
Nextwigs (.uk and .com), Domains by Proxy
http://www.rewigs.co.uk, name withheld
http://www.rewigs.com, Domains by Proxy
http://www.sheswigs.co.uk, no data
http://www.sheswigs.com, name withheld
http://www.wigshow.com, Moniker Online Services LLC
http://www.aaliyaholivia.com, name withheld
How to Recognise a Scam Website
There’s no contact address or phone number. Occasionally you may even find an address in mainland China or Hong Kong tucked away somewhere on the site.
There’s an odd mixture of poor English, particularly in short sentences, and standard English, used in longer reviews and on whole pages. That’s because the latter have been plagiarised from reputable sites.
There are hundreds of wigs to choose from but not a single brand name, even on sites which claim to sell brand name wigs. If you save an image and use Google Image Search or Tineye you’ll probably find that the photo shows a wig manufactured by a reputable company. Indeed, after a while you’ll be able to recognise the models frequently used by Paula Young, Ellen Wille, Wigs4U and others.
Google Image Search: https://images.google.com/
Celebrities! Dozens of celebrities – Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Jane Fonda…if an actress or singer has nice hair you’ll probably find multiple photos of her on the scam sites. George Clooney and Justin Beiber also make frequent appearances. There’s no reason to believe that they are wearing wigs – with one notable exception. Does the site pass what I like to call “the Raquel Welch test”? If it features photos of Raquel wearing wigs not clearly identified as her own brand, it’s a sure sign that you’re dealing with criminals. It really is that simple. Vivica A Fox and Paris Hilton also have their own lines of brand name wigs but most photos of Paris show her at social events. NO REPUTABLE WIG RETAILER USES PHOTOS OF CELEBRITIES TO ADVERTISE THEIR WIGS.
Most of the ‘reviews’ don’t even describe the wigs they’re praising. If you select a few sentences and paste them into your browser you’ll usually find they’ve been stolen from reputable retailers – http://www.simplywigs.co.uk is a favourite source of material for the Chinese scammers, not only for their own sites but also for Pissedconsumer and Sitejabber, where they post incongruous 5-star reviews to boost their abysmal ratings. Lots of identical generic reviews, usually very short and written in poor English, appear on every scam site praising different wigs.
The registrant of the domain lives in Britain, the USA or Australia. The chances of a Chinese scam company employee living in these places is so remote it’s safe to assume that their names and addresses were used without their knowledge or consent. Easycounter can often provide valuable information:
Help, I’ve Been Scammed!
First of all, don’t panic! Have a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. Take a photo of your dog wearing the joke wig they sent you.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RETURN THE WIG. Before you get in touch with PayPal or your credit card provider, make it clear that you know the company is fraudulent, have no intention of returning the wig and will settle for nothing less than a full refund. Sadly, I’ve come across cases where PayPal insisted on the victim sending the wig back as part of the refund settlement. There is no need to do this and the scammers won’t insist on it – the wigs are so cheap, probably bought in bulk from the factories which make fancy dress wigs, that the scammers will lose nothing. This is probably the reason for the ludicrous bargaining process you’ll be put through – they’re making so much cash that if victims accept the first miserably low offers of compensation they’ll STILL be making a profit.
PayPal – Saviour or Enabler?
On the whole, victims of the Chinese wig scams seem to be happy with the treatment they received from the PayPal Resolution Centre. But I have to ask – how many complaints about these crooks has PayPal received over the years? A look at the various consumer websites indicates that although the scam began as early as 2012 there has been a huge upturn in business since 2016, probably because inexpensive wigs are now popular fashion accessories for young women. What would happen if PayPal settled all outstanding claims for compensation and then withdrew their services from Uwigs, WigSis and the rest? The scammers would lose a lot of money…but so would PayPal.
What Can Wig Manufacturers Do?
At least some wig manufacturers, including the British firm Wigs4You, have attempted to get photographs of their products removed from the scam websites – so far without success. There’s not much I can do to to help because, in cases of copyright theft, only the copyright holder can lodge a complaint. It occurs to me that it may be worthwhile for them to get together and contact China’s Minister of Commerce:
Minister Zhong Shan, 2 Dong Chang’an Avenue, Beijing 100731, China
The problem isn’t confined to the scammers’ own websites – Amazon and eBay are littered with stolen photos of brand name wigs.
Finally, in case you were wondering about the deleted non-WordPress site http://www.chinesewigscam.co.uk: it was my first attempt at creating a site to expose these crooks, and was virtually identical to the current site. A couple of days after it went live it was taken down for violating the company’s T&C. I have to assume that someone at the company interpreted my scrupulously-researched work as “defamatory speech”!