Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ghostly Chic is a Ghost, Indeed: Felice Fawn's Latest Scam

Lauren Cook (AKA Felice Fawn) is back to her old scamming tricks again!


This is a long and convoluted one, so get comfortable (and perhaps a snack) as I do my best to outline Lauren's latest scamming endeavor. Evidence that shows Ghostly Chic as belonging to Lauren is outlined in the first half of the post. The second half of the post lists all the victims I have been able to uncover so far as being scammed by Ghostly Chic.

Let's start from the beginning, shall we?


Lauren posted the following about an unknown company called "Ghostly Chic" to her Tumblr page and her Twitter on July 23rd, 2013. This date is very significant. I will explain further in the post.




An anonymous user submitted the following to the-truth-about-felice-fawn on Tumblr. The following text is also excerpted from that post.
I looked a bit into the clothing label Lauren was going on about, “Ghostly Chic” and it seems the domain name (www.ghostlychic.com) is registered by the same hosting service provider as www.felicefawn.com. Coincidence? I wouldn’t put it past her to try and separate her name from her business plans, given her penchant for scamming.
(For those of you who aren’t into web developing, there are tons of hosting service providers out there from many different countries, and usually, most web developers will stick to one when buying multiple URLs and creating multiple sites [which I do myself].

Domain name service providers are different, and don’t have to be linked to the hosting service. Hosting provides data storage, while domains provide a name to link the data to.)

You can verify this information by going to whois.sc and looking up the URLs.

I’ve attached the following screencaps:
Additional information by the-truth-about-felice-fawn: The above is the domain registry information for felicefawn.com. I have edited out her address and phone number. Below is the submitted screencap of the domain name registry information for ghostlychic.com. The address shown here is the domain name registry address for contactprivacy.com, which is a website used to protect the contact information of domain name holders in the WHOIS system.As you can see, ghostlychic.com is registered to the same hosting provider as our dear Failice’s own website, Fasthosts, which is a UK-based web hosting provider.

I have also included a screencap of the Ghostly Chic Facebook page with its two lonely little likes, and which was created exactly one month ago:


And here is a screencap of Ghostly Chic's current FAQ page:

Here is a screencap of Evil Trinity's FAQ page. The terms are basically identical, with some subtle rewording on Ghostly Chic's FAQ.


Notice how both Evil Trinity's and Ghostly Chic's terms make it next to impossible to be able to return an item.

Also, the Contact link on the Ghostly Chic site only brings you to a generic form. There is no contact email, phone number, or address listed anywhere on the website.

From a reblog by sansfaireunbuit of the above post via the-truth-about-felice-fawn:



So it had been established that this mysterious new company Lauren was promoting and her company Evil Trinity share the same ISP (read this post for an explanation on how that works) as well as similar FAQ pages, identical website layouts, and the very familiar overall look. But unlike Evil Trinity, Lauren only claimed to be promoting Ghostly Chic and that it was, in fact, NOT her company. Ghostly Chic did not even exist until July 23rd, 2013... which just so happened to be the very same day Lauren posted about it.

To add to the overall dodginess of all this, just about every design advertised on Ghostly Chic's site appeared to be stolen from somewhere else. Unknown independent artists as well as larger companies had their designs stolen and used by Ghostly Chic.

"Skeletal vest" (cached link, as this item was removed from Ghostly Chic after the copyright violation was discovered)














... which is a shoddy knockoff of BOY London's Eagle T-shirt:






Carol Sadler was contacted over the copyright infringement of her photo.


Please see this link via elxdiablo.



Which is a rotated, cropped and grey-scaled version of this original photograph by Steven J. Messina, entitled "Titanium Fangs":


The following top was also (quickly) removed from Ghostly Chic:


The design appears to have been ripped off of the band Placebo's design, with the band name Photoshopped out:


Googling the terms "Placebo moon shirt" will yield many results where this shirt's official, copyrighted item can be purchased.



Which uses a watermarked Shutterstock image copyrighted by paseven and inverted the colors:


"Taylor Momsen vest", which was removed from the Ghostly Chic site:




Here is a screencap of gameinformer's Terms of Service:


Paramount was contacted about this copyright violation, as seen in this post by feliiceflawed:


"Yolandi vest", now removed from Ghostly Chic:




Please see this post by elxdiablo for information on the copyright ownership of this photo.

"No Face cropped tee", now removed from Ghostly Chic:


This image was stolen from the Japanese animated film "Spirited Away"Studio Ghibli is likely to be the copyright holder for this image.


Additional information can be found in this post by elxdiablo.

"Wednesday Addams vest", now removed from Ghostly Chic:


Paramount Pictures is the likely copyright holder for this image. Please see this post by elxdiablo for more information on this.

And of course, the above Wednesday Addams top was never mentioned again by Lauren, nor did she ever upload photos of herself wearing it. Perhaps she was served with a few cease and desist orders after all.

Finally, although perhaps not necessarily a case of copyright infringement, we have the "Memento Mori cropped vest". The following text and images were posted by Tumblr user felshoops:

Ghostly Chic sells a Memento Mori tank:


But Felice already owned one months(/year?) ago, exactly the same


Isn’t that strange

The GC top sold out almost immediately so I guess there was only one in stock

If you buy Ghostly Chic you may be actually be purchasing some of her old clothes

Busted!

(And I have to say, to whomever noticed that Lauren had already worn this top months ago and was spotted via her friend's Instagram, you win all of the internets.)

I'm sure that I have missed other copyright violations, so please feel free to comment on this post and link me to any other violations you can find for Ghostly Chic.

Naturally, this message from elxdiablo was ignored by Ghostly Chic:


And this Twitter user was blocked from commenting on Ghostly Chic's Facebook for inquiring about the numerous copyright infringements as well:



What a surprise.

After the above nuggets of information began to circulate on Tumblr, a few curious users messaged Lauren about the sudden emergence of this ghostly apparition of a company.


(The Tumblr user 'snotbubbleprincess' meant same ISP, not IP address.. just wanted to clarify that they're not the same thing.)

Then this happened.


Note the date, July 31st. This message was posted to the Evil Trinity site about a week after the site went down... which would be either on or around July 23rd.

The following asks made their way to her inbox shortly after.



Interesting that the so-called owner of a company would be so out of the loop and have such little involvement with regard to its activities. How strange. Perhaps this "team" that she claims exist and run everything and are responsible for anything that goes wrong are ghosts, too.

With Evil Trinity officially in shutdown mode, Lauren then posted this tweet on July 29th, 2013. Screencap from a submission to the-truth-about-felice-fawn:


So, to briefly summarize the timeline of events: 
  • The Ghostly Chic Facebook page was created on July 23rd, 2013. 
  • Evil Trinity shut down for "maintenance" right around July 23rd, 2013.
  • Lauren began promoting Ghostly Chic on her blog (post now deleted) and Twitter on July 23rd, 2013.
  • People quickly began to figure out that the items being offered for sale by Ghostly Chic were pretty much all bearing stolen images copyrighted by others.
  • Only 6 days after Ghostly Chic materialized out of nowhere, Lauren made several posts advertising space for online stores on her blog (now deleted) as well as claiming that Ghostly Chic were looking for bloggers to help promote the brand.
With that information, along with the evidence of the ISP of Evil Trinity being that of Ghostly Chic's, it certainly appeared that Ghostly Chic was being run by none other than Lauren Cook, AKA Felice Fawn. It also appeared that she was denying its ownership because her aim was to open a new store without her name and nefarious selling reputation attached to it.

Very shady indeed. Who would want to buy from a brand new company with no customer reviews, no company address, stolen copyrighted designs, and no one stepping up to claim ownership? Transparency is always important if one wants to run a legitimate business... but since this is Felice Fawn we're talking about here, I suppose the word "legitimate" has no bearing.

An anonymous user messaged the newly-created Ghostly Chic Tumblr and this was the reply:


Not bloggers? Then why create a Tumblr that looks like this:


... which just to happens to very closely resemble a certain Fawn's own Tumblr at that time?


It's also important to note that the shirts being advertised on the Ghostly Chic site appeared to simply be Photoshopped onto images of the same 3 shirts. Observe this gif created by a crafty efagz member:


Notice the folds in all the shirts stay in the exact same positions, despite the shirts' designs all being different. The gif creator's accompanying comment:
Yes, some companies will superimpose their motifs onto one stock image for design purposes/a cleaner catalog look. But these companies have already established trust, and most importantly, they have actual “worn” photos of their products. And how can everything on their store be sold out, before they even get around to taking promotional pictures? Surely they’d have stock put aside for photoshoots and promotions? (Especially since they’re contacting bloggers for free merch! Can that really be more important than having stock left for paying customers? Nope.) I wouldn’t trust a shop that doesn’t have any proof of ownership on their site. That is beyond shady. Even if it wasn’t associated with Lauren, this shop would be bad news.
Apparently, FF's promotion of Ghostly Chic worked on some of her followers, despite the warnings that Ghostly Chic seemed sketchy flooding all of her Tumblr tags. Someone actually purchased an item from Ghostly Chic and, incredibly, it arrived! But unfortunately, it doesn't end there. Tumblr user 080022771 (Tierre) posted their feedback of the top they received:


The photo of the item as advertised on the Ghostly Chic site:


As you can see, Tierre had good reason to complain. The top doesn't look at all close to what was advertised. And it wasn't exactly cheap for a tank top, either. She paid £21 for it. That translates to $34 USD.

This user went on to post about their dissatisfaction with the top they received on the Ghostly Chic Facebook page. (Now deleted, of course.)


Oh, but wait... Ghostly Chic edited the comment they left for Tierre! (Screencap via Tierre's blog)


So first Ghostly Chic offered a refund, then edited the reply to Tierre's post in an attempt to lay some of the blame onto her for allegedly not getting back to GC. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? When all else fails, blame the customer!

More screencaps from Tierre's blog:


Here is the email correspondence Tierre had with Ghostly Chic. I do apologize for the small size of those screencaps... I originally found them on Tumblr, but it appears that Tierre has deleted the entry where she posted them, so these teeny ones are all I have. However, in her email to Ghostly Chic, Tierre wrote:
Dear Ghostly Chic, 
We have received the T-shirt but are really disappointed with the quality of the print, the fabric, and the stitching. Also there are imprints from the seams where it has been ironed and I doubt these will come off when washed. The fabric is very thin and the seams will twist when it's washed. The print is nothing like the picture as it shows a square, not good value for £22, more like £10. 
Please can you let me know how we should return this garment and hopefully you will provide a free post address or return postage label as I do not see why we should have to pay for this. 
Thank you.
Ghostly Chic replied:
Hi Tierre 
We would be happy to provide a refund if you are not happy with your items. We received a batch of faulty garments from our supplier that were sent to some of our customers without our consent. We can only apologise for any inconvenience caused. 
There is no need to return the faulty item, we will provide a refund once you hve confirmed this is what you would like to do. 
Kind regards,
Ghostly Chic.
I'm guessing Lauren didn't want to give out her Mildenhall address for Tierre to return the item to and thus give away her ownership of Ghostly Chic just yet. Or perhaps she was simply trying to save face due to the one and ONLY review of Ghostly Chic so far being a negative one. So Tierre was fully refunded, which is, at least, a nice change of pace... Lauren should really consider doing the same for her scammed Deumos customers.

However, it doesn't end there.




Less than one week after its anonymous debut seemingly from out of the ether, Ghostly Chic promptly marked each and every item as "Sold Out" and stuck the above banner on the site.

From elxdiablo on Tumblr:

Funny, isn’t it?…How in in a matter of days, and right in the midst of a tumblr shit-storm of spamming and Ghostly Chic exposés, regarding poor quality merchandise and numerous copyright violations…that every single item on that store can be “sold out”. 
Personally, I’m not buying it.  There’s a snowball’s chance in hell that after all the controversy this store has stirred up, that she’s managed to sell every single item, other than those which don’t have designs printed on them. 
If I were to hazard a guess (and based on Lauren’s previous actions when caught selling other photographer’s work as her own), she’s currently trying to sort out some kind of profit sharing arrangement with any of the copyright holders which may have now contacted her regarding the use of their work. 
Alternatively, she might be trying to find some higher resolution images to steal, and figuring out how to print them on her plain black t-shirt inventory, without the end result being a horrific home-made-looking mess, which nobody in their right mind would pay good money for. 
Of course, this is purely speculative, but it’s based on history…and as Dr. Phil says “the best predictor of future behavior, is relevant past behavior”. 
So, what do you think people? 
I’m not buying the “sold out” story…but something is definitely afoot!
Meanwhile, Lauren continued to promote Ghostly Chic hard. She even added it to her list of stores on her blog, despite her insistence that Ghostly Chic is not hers.



She continued to deny that it is hers, despite all the evidence pointing to the glaring fact that it is indeed hers. TW: I apologize on Lauren's behalf for the self-harm and obvious thinspo present in a few of the following images.





Then something interesting happened involving Tumblr user coffee-and-witchcraft, who just so happens to be an Evil Trinity customer of Lauren's who did receive her items. From this post on e-lamee:


This is the response from Lauren that coffee-and-witchcraft published:


And then this happened. From coffee-and-witchcraft (now moon-hex):


Hmmmm. Why would someone who claims to not own Ghostly Chic block one of her own Evil Trinity customers simply for publishing a message she sent to them?

coffee-and-witchcraft (Nichole) commented on the Evil Trinity Facebook page regarding this:

"So according to Evil Trinity Felice has nothing to do with them other than modeling and designing… Regardless I will never buy anything from a company she works with again."


And around that time (mid August, roughly two weeks after the mysterious debut of Ghostly Chic), FF re-opened the Evil Trinity site. The following posts are all from Nichole's Tumblr.


FF then removed Nichole's customer photos from the Evil Trinity Facebook page and Tumblr. Remember, this is a girl who had previously purchased from Evil Trinity, received her items, and merely published a message Lauren responded to regarding Ghostly Chic on her own blog. Why would someone do that unless they were trying to hide the fact that Ghostly Chic is HER company?


Proof that Nichole's customers were on Evil Trinity's Facebook prior to this incident:





Suffice it to say, it's highly unprofessional and shady behavior from FF to one of her own Evil Trinity customers, and pretty clearly points to her and her alone as being the owner of Ghostly Chic.

Ghostly Chic also held a giveaway in August, an the winner was announced on August 31st:


If you are at all familiar with the Freelice community on Tumblr, you'll probably recognize that username. onlyparticlesinmotion is known for continually defending FF on Tumblr.

I suppose it could be a coincidence, but something tells me it's probably not.

And now for the most damning proof of all that it is indeed Lauren/Felice Fawn running Ghostly Chic while pretending not to. From failice-exposed on Tumblr:

(click to enlarge)





FF lives in Mildenhall, as does failice-exposed. Mildenhall's post code is 1P28.

Finally, please see this post by stopallyourlies on Tumblr, which was just published recently. This post clearly shows that Ghostly Chic is run by FF because it matches all of the information in the whois results for "blackfawnboutique", which is her most recent store that she is using to sell hugely marked-up thrift store items.

Images from stopallyourlies (click to enlarge):



In summation, all of the evidence that Ghostly Chic is the doing of Lauren AKA Felice Fawn is as follows:

  • Ghostly Chic uses the same ISP (Internet Service Provider) as felicefawn.com and Evil Trinity.
  • Ghostly Chic appeared for the first time on the same day Lauren initially posted about it.
  • Evil Trinity shut down right as Ghostly Chic appeared.
  • The images (now deleted) that were on the Ghostly Chic Tumblr mirror the exact subject matter that Lauren herself posts on her own Tumblr.
  • The post code on a Ghostly Chic package that actually made it to a customer is the postcode of Mildenhall, where Lauren currently lives.
  • blackfawnboutique and Ghostly Chic were registered at the same location and have matching DNS info.

It is also worthy of note that the Ghostly Chic Twitter has not been updated since September 3rd. And, surprise! The Ghostly Chic Tumblr also has not been updated since September 3rd.

And now, we have finally arrived at the list of scammed Ghostly Chic customers. "Unresolved" means that the customers are out their money (meaning they have paid and either didn't receive their items or were NOT refunded).


Ghostly Chic Scammed Victim List

Case #1: Jenna M.

From Jenna's Tumblr:


Case status: item not received; unresolved


Case #2: "H"

Due to this unfortunately scammed customer wanting to protect her privacy, I will not directly link to any posts she has made on Ghostly Chic or reveal her name. I will refer to her as "H". "H" posted this tweet on September 3rd:


And then she posted this one a little over a week later:


Here are the details of her transaction with Ghostly Chic, which includes email correspondence. The screencaps were located via efagz. Notice the dates...




"H" opened a Paypal dispute for the transaction on October 2nd, 2013 and escalated it to a claim to due the lack of response from Ghostly Chic:


Case status: items not received; unresolved pending Paypal dispute


Case #3: Beth

In these first series of tweets, Beth is communicating with "H", the previous case.


It is unknown at this time whether or not Beth was able to get refunded for her purchase through her bank. If Beth or someone who knows her sees this, please get in contact with me at jealoushater@hotmail.com so I can update her case.

Case status: item not received; unresolved


Case #4: Chloe


The following screencapped message was submitted to me by a Freelice blogger. It is from Chloe via Tumblr, detailing what happened:


It's very interesting to note that Chloe's refund is taking some time to deposit to her account due to the possibility, as mentioned in her message, of Ghostly Chic emptying the account(s) linked to the Ghostly Chic Paypal address.

Case status: item not received; unresolved pending Paypal refund


Case #5: Tierre

Obviously, this case was outlined further up in this post. Tierre was the first Ghostly Chic customer who actually did receive her item, but it was not at all as described or as pictured. Tierre did voice her complaints and was refunded by Ghostly Chic, but it seems so far that she is the only one who was.

Case status: item received, but not as pictured; refunded

Case #6: la_bluegirl

From her Tumblr post:


Here is a screencap of her email from Paypal, which shows the Paypal claim fortunately being decided in her favor:


Case status: items not received; refunded via Paypal dispute


Case #7: Katerina

Katerina posted the following tweet on September 7th, 2013. The latter two tweets have since been deleted. It is not known why they were deleted.




Katerina did receive her item, but stated that it took "twice as long to get here as it should have" and that the design on the shirt that arrived to her looked much different than was advertised. And you can clearly see the difference in what she received versus what was advertised. It seems that Ghostly Chic put up a new photo of the item in question with a smaller heart on it, but didn't bother letting Katerina know that the design would not be the one that she paid for.

Case status: item received, but not as pictured


Case #8: "feline"


It seems that this person also did (eventually) receive their items from Lauren:


However, they also stated that the items "finally" arrived (over a month after they ordered), and that they were "a little disappointed". I would really love to know why. If "feline" or someone who knows them sees this, you are encouraged to contact me.

Case status: items received; disappointed


Case #9: "Ghostly Chic anon"

This next screencap is from an anonymous submitter via felicewho on Tumblr. Like the above person, this anonymous person did also receive their item, but they were dissatisfied with the quality of it.

click to enlarge


Here is the other photo the anon submitted of the packaging, which was later shown by failice-exposed to have the Mildenhall postal code:


Case status: item received; disappointed


Case #10: Brey

As I was finishing typing up this post, I had to add yet another case to the pile! The following post just appeared today on the Ghostly Chic Facebook page.


It will probably be deleted as soon as Lauren notices it. (Update: yep, it's gone.) I am currently awaiting further information on this case. If anyone knows how to get in contact with Brey or (hopefully) if Brey herself sees this, please contact me at jealoushater@hotmail.com or get in touch with any of the Freelice blogs on Tumblr.

Case status: item not received; unresolved


Case #11: "T"

"T" purchased 2 items from Ghostly Chic in early August. This customer actually did not know who Felice Fawn was and was thusly unaware of her scamming history. Here is what this customer stated in a message on Tumblr, submitted to me from a Freelice blogger:



Luckily, "T" opened a Paypal dispute and is currently awaiting her resolution from Paypal. She never did hear back from Ghostly Chic since making her purchases.

Case status: items not received; unresolved pending Paypal dispute


Conclusion:

11 customers are currently known to have made purchases from Ghostly Chic. Our of those 11 customers, only 4 actually received items, ALL of which were stated by these customers to be notably different from what was advertised and/or were unsatisfactory. The other 7 customers made purchases from Ghostly Chic and never received any items at all, and their attempts at communicating with Ghostly Chic were ignored. Out of those 7 customers, only 1 so far has been fully refunded by opening a Paypal dispute, 3 customers are completely out their money (and it is unknown whether they opened Paypal disputes), and the other 3 customers currently have active Paypal disputes against Ghostly Chic and are awaiting a resolution from Paypal.

As of October 3rd, 2013, 5 days ago, Lauren quietly removed Ghostly Chic from the list of stores on her Tumblr and has made absolutely no mention of Ghostly Chic in several weeks:


Every single item on the Ghostly Chic site is marked as "Sold Out" now, too.



I somehow doubt that.

I have a sinking feeling that this will probably go the way of Deumos; Lauren will likely delete all traces of Ghostly Chic's existence and never speak of it again while sitting on all the money she conned out of her followers. Or perhaps she'll simply stick to her story of it not being her own doing and will just continue to lie to everyone in a desperate attempt to save face. You'd think she'd learn something after what happened last time...


What To Do Now:

Lauren Cook/Felice Fawn cannot keep getting away with scamming people. She did it with Deumos, and now she's done it again with Ghostly Chic. There is no disputing that Ghostly Chic is hers--all of the evidence outlined at the beginning of this post points only to it being her surreptitious doing. This is criminal behavior and indicates a serious lack of morals. She will only keep doing this so long as she is able to get away with it. It's time to stop her from stealing from others.

Here is what you can do. The following text is from a post made by stopallyourlies on Tumblr. This is very important!

ATTENTION VICTIMS OF THE GHOSTLY CHIC SCAM! 
***YOU SHOULD NOT LET GHOSTLY CHIC GET AWAY WITH THIS FRAUDULENT BEHAVIOUR. THIS POST IS GOING TO HELP YOU REPORT THEM TO THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES. IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF THIS SCAM AND YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING THIS THINKING “NAAH, I WON’T BOTHER”, THAN YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN BEING SCAMMED. THERE ARE *LOADS* OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU OUT THERE WHO HAVE FALLEN FOR THIS SCAM AND YOU NEED TO ALL STAND UP TOGETHER!***


—————————————————————————————————

We have all become aware of the online store Ghostly Chic doing the following:

- Sending goods that do NOT look like the photos on the site.

- Sending goods late.

- Not sending goods at all.

- Ignoring people’s attempts to contact them for the above issues.

—————————————————————————————————
What should you do?
  • If the seller has misrepresented the goods you’ve bought, report the fraud to Action Fraud. This is run by the police in the UK. This is a legitimate team set up to help YOU.
  • Keep all evidence of the offence, including goods and correspondence.
  • If there is a business dispute over the nature of the transaction, contact the website involved. Or, you can alert Consumer Direct by phone on 08454 04 05 06. Clearly Ghostly Chic are NOT responding, ALERT CONSUMER DIRECT!
    What else can I do?
    • If you paid via PayPal, open a dispute RIGHT NOW.
    • If you paid via credit or debit card, contact your bank now and inform them that you are being scammed out of your money so they can get it back for you.
    • Report them to the Office of Trading Standards UK.
    To summarize:
    • Open a dispute with PayPal or your bank/credit card.
    • Report the to the Action Fraud team.
    • Report them to the Office of Trading Standards
    • Spread the word.

    This post (also by stopallyourlies) is also extremely important:


    I contacted BigCartel about GhostlyChic.com as Ghostly Chic use their software to sell their items and their site is partially hosted on their servers because of that. This is the response I got from them.
    They are going to investigate and they want to hear directly from people who been scammed. 
    SEND YOUR EMAIL TO SUPPORT@BIGCARTEL.COM 
    DON’T LET GHOSTLY CHIC GET AWAY WITH STEALING YOUR MONEY!


    In closing...

    If I have missed anything at all, please don't hesitate to contact me and let me know. If there are any other scammed victims of Ghostly Chic that I have not yet listed (I have a feeling this list will be growing as time goes on), please contact me so I can add you to the list, or contact any of the Freelice blogs currently on Tumblr. Please also feel free to link to and redistribute this post, particularly if contacting BigCartel. And please, if you are still within the 45 days from the date of your Paypal transaction with Ghostly Chic and have not received your item, OPEN A DISPUTE RIGHT NOW. If you did not pay with Paypal, contact your bank or credit card company IMMEDIATELY. 

    Finally... do not purchase from Lauren's/Felice Fawn's various websites. Do not pay a ridiculous premium for something you can find for far cheaper on eBay. Do not allow yourself to be swindled by--and ultimately support--an unrepentant scammer.