NewsRegion East HillsboroughBrandon


Brandon business owner warns of 'Sponsored Ad' scam on Facebook

Hundreds calling after ordering from bogus site
Posted at 4:37 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 19:07:38-05

BRANDON, Fla. — Carmen Wilson’s sewing shop usually gets several phone calls a day, but now she’s getting a couple dozen.

“I’m getting people asking me why their quilt hasn’t been delivered, we don’t sell quilts,” said Wilson.

GiGi’s Fabric sells fabric and offers sewing classes. Wilson did some digging online and discovered scammers were essentially using her shop’s name. Buyers all across the country would see sponsored ads showing quilts on their Facebook page. The link would take the buyer to Wilson’s store website is The phony website doesn’t have a contact number, so once the order isn’t delivered, customers call GiGi’s shop in Brandon.

“I stopped counting after getting twenty calls per day,” said Wilson.

She’s contacted Facebook and even the FBI in an effort to catch the crooks.

We spoke to Linda Tisdale from Mississippi. She ordered a $60 quilt after seeing an advertisement on Facebook. The quilt was never delivered to her home.

“It’ll catch up with them eventually, it was a lot of money to me and I’m sure I won’t get my money back,” said Tisdale.

Facebook is conducting an investigation and the company has started pulling ads linked to the quilt website.

Click here to see advice on how to avoid online scams.