The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

May 4, 2013

Fake pal: 2 sets of eyewear for $55

Don’t make spectacle of self by falling for email pitch

By Joanne Arbogast
The Daily Item

NORTHUMBERLAND — John Z., of Northumberland, wears eyeglasses.

He recently opened an email from someone he thought he knew. It started off with “Hi John, I hope you are doing well ... ” so he read on.

The chummy note rambled on and was full of misspellings but John read on until he got to this part: If you wear eyeglasses, why pay hundreds of dollars for them when they are available elsewhere for less?

“To cut a long story short, I have just bought 2 (yes, two) pairs of high quality custom-made designer eyeglasses made exactly to my prescription, with case and cleaning cloth, including shipping and packing, for a total of about $55. I could have got then even cheaper but decided to have some extras like anti-scratch, lighter lenses and anti-glare,” the email continued. “I just had to tell someone about this great site. It took exactly 13 days from order to delivery, which I think is pretty good.”

All John had to do was click on a web link and use a coupon code to get another 5 percent off.

At this point, John remembered he had no idea who the sender was and closed the email.

Opening emails from strangers is always risky; biting at offers that seem too good to be true — in this case, clicking on a link inside a strange email that will direct you to an unknown website — is riskier still.

Certainly, there are legitimate online eyeglass stores and their business is on the increase because there can be cost-savings, but scammers are aware of this — offers of discount eyeglasses appeals to everyone with imperfect vision.

CBS News has reported on the pros and cons of buying eyeglasses over the Internet (www.cbsnews.com/2100-3480_162-7272080.html)

Among the pros are low prices, convenience and selection while the cons include frames that may still have to be professionally adjusted and return hassles.

Of course, the biggest complaint about buying eyeglasses online is that you can’t actually try them on.