What is going on with these GoPro "sales"?

I clicked on a Facebook ad for GoPro which shows they are running sales on their whole lines of cameras for under $100, cameras that sold not so long ago for nearly $500 or more. Note the domain name, which seems a little fishy. The domain name’s registrant is hidden by the registrar. The site is branded as GoPro with a GoPro copyright notice. However, their mainstream site shows these same products at much higher prices, $350-400.

Is Facebook hosting an ad for a scam? Or is this some kind of marketing technique to tempt known GoPro customers (I bought one last year) to buy even more for low prices? Or something more nefarious that I cannot even imagine?

Yes. Facebook is well known for allowing scammy ads. You would get a far inferior camera if you got one at all.

Yeah, you get a FauxPro

Edit: that is, if you even get a camera, or indeed, get anything at all. Some of these sites just take the money and run. Others send a cheap item like a pair of sunglasses out of a dropship fulfilment service, which creates tracking information that keeps PayPal off their back long enough to take the money and run.

To be fair, I see a lot of scam ads other places too, like yahoo.

The Wikipedia article says that the .top domain is blocked by some systems, including that of my employer.

I operate under the assumption that all ads on the internet are a scam. If something piques your interest, go to GoPro via another route.

I figured Facebook would have ads for crappy products but I didn’t realize they would allow blatant fakes.

For discussion see here:

And here

Interesting discussion. It seems to be about Brand X products with probably inferior merchandise but my case is the first I’ve heard of someone counterfeiting a brand name web site. It’s probably to either harvest credit card numbers, or something else. I tried to see what would happen if I logged in. It doesn’t even ask for a password, it just asks for an email address (I gave it a throwaway) and then emails you a link. You click the link and you are logged in.

I got taken in by a scam ad on Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) masquerading as a Rothy’s shoes sale. If you’re not familiar, they’re flats that look good enough to wear with a suit, but they’re woven from recycled materials, supposedly very comfortable, and machine washable. They retail for $125 and up; these were “on sale” for $70. This site turned out to be a seller in China. I’m not certain whether the shoes I got were fakes, but they were definitely not the size I ordered.

Yeah, Facebook is terrible for scam ads. Worse, if you report an ad as a scam, most of the time, they do nothing except to not show you (just you) that specific ad again for a while.

I’ve bought a few items from these ads (knowing it was a scam) in order to document the experience for others - for example, there was an ad for a pocket-sized i7 laptop, priced $29 - what turned up was a pair of cheap sunglasses and a single disposable face mask*.
I paid via PayPal - and they don’t always seem to appreciate what’s going on - so the scam vendor may say it was an honest mistake and that they will refund on return of the item - and PayPal may (or may not - it seems arbitrary) insist that the buyer covers the return shipping, to China, via a tracked method. At this point, the buyer may look at the cost of return shipping and decide it’s not worth the effort, if it wipes out most of the refund value.

*As to why they bother sending anything at all - it provides tracking information to their payment processor, which buys them time to continue running the scam and may enable them to bank the payments and make off with the money.

While not completely fraudulent websites, I routinely see scam ads posted on some friends’ pages. These are people who don’t use Facebook much and at some point their password was compromised or a “friend of a friend” simply tagged everyone under the sun with their ad graphic, and they didn’t bother to report/delete those tags. These are usually for super cheap knockoff Ray-Ban sunglasses (Was $129.95 now $19.95!).

I contacted the web hosting company Ecwid, and told them that the site appeared to be a fraudulent site impersonating GoPro. They sent me a reply that they have investigated and as a result have blocked the site.