Beware of Some Pop-Up Ads on Social Media

A North Texas woman ordered a product from The Perfect Sculpt that never arrived

Latasha Williams' 9-year-old son Steven is smart and energetic.

"I want to be able to keep up with him and not be huffing and puffing trying to chase them around," she said. 

So her goal for 2019 was to get in shape.

As if it were a sign, Williams said she was scrolling on Instagram when an ad for a sweat vest popped up on her timeline.

"It's supposed to help you sweat off the water weight as you exercise," she said. "I decided to just give it a try."

Williams bought a sweat vest and a sweat cami, which came out to $41.

She expected her order to be delivered in 7-to-14 business days, but that didn't happen.

"I kept waiting and waiting and never received anything. So, I started to read through the comments. And a lot of the comments were saying, don't purchase from this company. It's a scam," Williams said.

Phylissia Clark with the Better Business Bureau told NBC 5 Responds they've received 476 complaints on The Perfect Sculpt since 2017. Of those complaints, 232 were regarding non-delivery and 40 came from people in Texas.

Clark said she's seen more companies post ads on sites like Instagram as a way to lure consumers into buying their products.

"People are looking for a product that's going to help get them in shape. So, the hook is putting them where people are looking," she said.

Clark said it usually starts with an ad that has great videos or pictures, sometimes including reality TV stars trying out the gear.

"On the one hand, the celebrities might buy in on it," she said. "But either way, just because you see a celebrity face, doesn't mean a product will work."

Williams said it's been nearly two months since she placed her order and still no word from the company.

"I remember on NBC Channel 5 with Samantha Chatman, she always helps people get their money back," Williams said.

She tagged Chatman in a comment on the company's Instagram page, and Chatman immediately reached out to The Perfect Sculpt.

After several attempts, the company finally got back to Chatman on Instagram, saying there was a delay due to an issue with a large import of certain items.

"It so happened to be the busiest time of the year, so the effects were felt at a large scale," the company said.

That same week, Williams said she received an item that she did not order. 

So, NBC 5 Repsonds reached out to The Perfect Sculpt again, and Williams finally received a refund.

"Thank you so much for your help. I appreciate you getting it done for me," she said.

But before purchasing a product after seeing an ad on social media, here are some tips:

  • Search the company's name online and see what kind of reviews it has.
  • Don't get caught up in how many followers the page has. The Prefect Sculpt has more than 500,000 followers, but an F rating with the BBB.
  • Always order with a credit card in case something goes wrong -- there's more protection for consumers there.
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