Fabric on the Cutting Edge of Current Events!
This morning I read a story on Reuters about online stores that are fakes, set up to process gambling payments. One of the fake stores highlighted in the story is called My Fabric Factory. (I won’t link to it, because I would imagine it will be taken down pretty quickly.)
The reporter actually ordered and paid for one yard of burlap, and the payment was processed. A few weeks later, he got notification that the burlap was “out of stock” and his money was refunded. When he called the help number, he was told outright that the site was for processing gambling money. I don’t gamble and I don’t understand money laundering, but I did think it was amusing that the site that was set up to launder money had fabric in the name.
If I had stumbled onto this site on my own, I would not have guessed its real purpose, but I would have known something was terribly terribly wrong. I think I would have assumed that the store owners were just not professional.
For one thing, the categories are weird. There are only about 13 categories, and they are for “dot fabric,” “striped fabric,” “linen,” and “silk,” but none for cotton.
If you click on a category, there are a few pages of fabric samples (and the “modern fabrics” are pretty cute!). And if you click on a fabric sample image, there are actual accurate descriptions of the fabric, complete with cleaning instructions and suggestions for use! But most of the fabric is $6.98 a yard. Very cheap.
There are no sale banners, no coupons, no search box, AND, most tellingly of all, no pop-up ads for fabric appear when you leave My Fabric Factory and visit other websites. (Have you ever looked at fabric on Fabric.com? Those samples pop up in so many places for so many days, it makes me get sick of the fabrics and lose any inclination to buy.)
It really got me wondering about the people behind the fake site.
Probably they are just trying to get by and work for a living, not knowing (or having a reason to care) that their site is a front.
But I wonder if somewhere there is a fabric designer who was thrilled to sell her designs, but wonders why she never seems to get a royalty on sales. Or maybe even that detail is taken care of, and she does get some sort of payment! I can absolutely see myself getting involved in something at that level, not having a clue that the design company is not legit.
Or maybe the website workers just pirated all the images and descriptions from other sites.
But maybe, just maybe, (and this is of course my favorite option) behind all of it is an Evil Fabric Genius, planning to use her esoteric-but-little-sought-after fabric knowledge to one day RULE THE WORLD!!
….I, of course, would never plot to take over the world. I would only use my esoteric-but-rarely-sought-after fabric knowledge to help the authorities if they needed help to determine if a website is a true fabric source or not. 🙂