Amber Bass couldn’t resist an ad she recently saw online for an expensive-looking, brown shearling coat.
“It had a lush fur collar. The models were in the snow. It looked warm,” Bass told Inside Edition Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero. To top it off, the hefty $2,000 price tag was marked down to just $69.99.
But Bass was shocked when she discovered what actually came in the mail: a poorly made knock off that was literally falling apart. The coat had cheap fabric, lopsided stitching and the phony fur lining was shedding all over.
"I would never wear this," Bass said.
Like thousands of online shoppers, Bass had fallen victim to a classic bait-and-switch. And the pictures that caught Bass’s eye? Turns out they were stolen from the website of the Overland Sheepskin Company in Fairfield, Iowa.
“In less than three months, there’s been a thousand websites that have been created that have had copies of Overland photographs on them,” according to the owner of the Overland Sheepskin Company, Roger Leahy.
Unsuspecting shoppers like Bass had no idea they were being ripped off. However, the scam becomes clear when you see the two coats side-by-side.
“It’s appalling that this kind of garbage could be masqueraded as a really luxurious Toscana lamb shearling coat,” Leahy said.
Inside Edition purchased several women's coats from questionable sites online. Most of them never arrived — the one that did was nothing close to what appeared in the ad. But they all traced back to the same company in China.