Is Stepgink.com Legit or a Scam? What You Need to Know

Written by Daniel Zimmerman

Stepgink.com is a deceptive website that offers to buy items at extremely low prices. It may appear as a discounter, or as a marketplace for warehouse liquidation items, but it is in fact just a ploy to make you think this site is legitimate. Upon placing an order on this site, you will likely get nothing at all, or, at best, poor-quality or counterfeit items.

In this article, I will highlight the concerning indicators regarding the Stepgink.com shop, the way this deception operates, and show how to detect similar frauds. This will help you to avoid similar shopping deceptions in upcoming times.

Stepgink.com Site – Scam Overview

As I said, Stepgink.com may initially seem like a authentic discounter or the merchant of stock liquidation items. But a short analysis shows a troubling amount of red flags that say clearly about this site’s fraudulence. Unfair advertising methods, unreasonably low prices, absence of user support and user testimonials – this site accomplishes the fraud bingo right away.

Website Stepgink.com
Hosting AS45102 Alibaba (US) Technology Co., Ltd.
United States, San Jose
IP Address 47.251.24.229
Threat Type Scam/Fraud
Scam Type Fraudulent/Scam online shop
Stepgink.com Scam

Stepgink.com Scam

By purchasing on websites like Stepgink.com, it is doubtful that you will obtain the items you’ve ordered. More typically, it results in one of 3 instances common for scam sites.

Counterfeit goods. Not the worst option, as you get at least something. But as it usually happens to fake items of popular brands, the characteristic will be inferior, to say the least. Eventually, the site may inform about that somewhere deep in the item description or “about us” page, but users rarely check them thoroughly. This is a especially often case when ordering from websites that promote baubles, small electronics and stuff the like.

Wrong item. To make the trade look more legitimate, but spend even less money on the delivered item, rascals may ship a random item they have on hand instead of your order. An old t-shirt instead of a new one, a scratched aluminum platter instead of a set of dishes – scammers may turn really inventive in that case.

Absolutely nothing. This is the most frequent scenario when ordering from websites like Stepgink.com. Frauds take your money, promise the delivery, and then merely vanish. As scams do not aim to exist for a long time, scams do not bother themselves with creating even a vague visibility of legitimacy.

Stepgink.com scam – How does it work?

As any scam, Stepgink.com runs a simple and well-proven scheme of operations. It usually consists of 3 stages, with some slight deviations from time to time.

Step 1 – Attract the Masses. Frauds post massive amounts of advertisements on social media, particularly preferring Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. Paid ads say the same things as their sites do: 90% discounts, free delivery around the world, hurry up to get the deal.

Scam ads YouTube Facebook Instagram

Ads of fraudulent shops posted on different platforms

As users consider ads on the mentioned platforms benign, they do not doubt anything at this point. Ads become particularly persuasive during major events that boost people’s interest in shopping, like Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas, etc. Sometimes, they mask themselves as resellers of the liquidated stock of bankrupt retail companies.

Step 2 – Take the Money. Once customers are on the website, swindlers do their best to make the consumers buy something. Impossibly good deals, additional discount promo codes, free shipping, bright and blinking “Order Now” buttons that are just everywhere – they use every single method possible. And this works out – uninformed individuals stick to the offers and proceed to paying for the order.

Payments are done in a peculiar manner. Instead of more classic options for online shopping, like Visa/MasterCard payments or PayPal, fraudsters offer using direct bank transfers, Venmo or CashApp. Thing is, the latter do not provide any refunds, regardless of the circumstances. Even when you can prove that the transaction went to swindlers, “no refunds” is a part of their policy which you agree on upon registration.

Step 3 – Vanish. Once swindlers get enough money, or – what is more likely – there are enough grievances and user reports about the site being a scam, they just disappear. Usually, this happens at around the 2nd or 3rd week of the site activity. Once enough people know about the dishonest activity, the profits will dry up, leaving crooks with no reason to move on. Reporting the scam to the domain hosting helps take the domain down pretty quickly.

Why is Stepgink.com a Scam?

Well, we just talked about the way the fraud site operates. Now, let’s see how to understand whether the site is fraudulent without risking your money. Fortunately, fraudsters do not bother themselves with creating well-rounded disguises, so the same red flags repeat from one site to another.

1. Fake or absent reviews

Scam websites aim to exist for 1-2 weeks, so there’s no purpose (and way) to make any reputation with reviews. Obviously, even benign shopping sites will lack buyer opinions shortly after the start, as there were just a few clients yet. For that reason, this sign is not stand-alone and requires confirmation by other signs or indicators.

Scam site fake reviews

Definitely not generic comments generated by AI

However, once you face phishy-looking reviews that have nothing to do with what the site sells, that’s definitely not a good sign. Any blurred or drivel reviews that may describe any item sold on the website should be taken with a grain of salt. And well, on deceptive sites you will get an entire saltcellar. Always search for reviews on Google – this may save your money.

2. Unbelievably high discounts/low prices

No merchants will sell goods at loss for themselves. 70%, 80%, 90% reductions are not viable even during sales events such as the aforementioned Christmas. In some cases, deceptive sites set the prices low without saying anything about discounts, but they will most likely be absurd, like $30 for a bed or $10 for a branded leather bag. Goods may be sold for cheap, but every sell-off has its sane limits.

3. No customer support.

This is what distinguishes deceptive websites from the benign ones, even newly established. When a site is about to rip off the clients, there’s no need to waste time on answering their questions. Check out the “About us” or “Info” page – the page will most likely have no support contacts whatsoever.

About us scam site

Typically for fraudulent websites, the “About us” column is completely empty

When they offer an email, or even a phone to reach them out, there is a great possibility that these emails and numbers will be dead silent to your request. This, or they will answer you with generic text regardless of your inquiry.

As scammers often reuse numbers and emails as “support” contacts, you can search them on Google. When they appear on a different site, be sure you are facing a blatant scam.

Several scams same email

A chain of scam websites that use the same “support email”

4. Payments via payment systems that does not support refunds

This scam indicator is not a guarantee, as there are plenty of benign services and shops using direct bank transfers, CashApp, Venmo or similar payment systems. Each of the latter has the same pitfall I’ve already mentioned above: these methods do not suppose any refund options. And this is what makes it so attractive to scammers – once you paid for the order, there’s no way to get the money back.

Some websites may also ask for payments in cryptocurrency, which is even less controllable than aforementioned payment methods. While cryptocurrency payments expand their presence slowly, they still remain a beloved bay for different frauds.

5. Items’ images are sourced from another page

As scammers most likely don’t have any goods, they are not able to create unique pics. Thus their option is to hijack these images elsewhere. When scammers offer the same items on different websites, you can find such images on similarly-looking scam pages. By searching for the image on Google, you can prove whether the image is unique or not.

Copied item images

Image duplicates on another scam site, as well as on Amazon and Walmart sites

6. Design repeats the one of a different page

This is the continuation of the stolen images I’ve just described. As rascals may parasite on the same topic repeatedly, they put the same site design under the new address, and voila – a new scam site is ready to rock-n-roll! In some cases, image search on Google advice from the previous paragraph may lead you to the copy of the page you’ve started on. It makes uncovering such scams pretty easy, but criminals who stand behind them never aim at cautious users.

Copied design scams

Example of scam sites that duplicate each others’ design

Is your PC infected?

There are cases when Stepgink.com site, along with similar scam sites, are promoted by malware. Adware and browser hijackers are two particular malware types known for such behavior. If you notice excessive ads in your web browser, see your search queries going in a different search engine and some random pages open time to time, consider scanning your computer with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This will help you to get rid of annoying promotions and scam sites.

Remove malware with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware

We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common adware as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove malware as well as other malware hiding on your computer.

Gridinsoft Anti-Malware - Main Screen

To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:

1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.

2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.

setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe

3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.

Gridinsoft Setup Wizard

4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.

Scan for malware adware

Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.

5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.

The malware was Found

6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.

The malware has been removed

8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.

Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Stepgink.com Scam

What is Stepgink.com?

Stepgink.com operates as a scam website that pretends to be an online store selling various items at low prices. However, it is involved in fraudulent activities and aims to deceive customers by sending counterfeit or inferior products or not delivering anything at all.

How can I identify if Stepgink.com is a scam?

There are a couple of red flags to watch out for. To begin with, Stepgink.com shop recently created its online platform, which is a frequent feature of short-lived fraud sites that swiftly evaporate. Secondly, the website lacks ways to reach out such as a phone number, physical address, or real-time chat option, making it difficult to tackle issues or questions. Thirdly, it shows bogus business information, giving no genuine information about the company behind the online platform. Additionally, this fraudulent scheme entices shoppers with impractical price cuts and promotions, cutting prices by over 70% or even 90%. Additionally, Stepgink.com reproduces content and merchandise visuals from authentic online stores like Alibaba, Amazon, and Aliexpress, demonstrating a lack of unique ideas and trustworthiness. Furthermore, despite asserting to provide trendy and fashionable items, the platform lacks any social media presence or links to online networking platforms. Lastly, genuine client testimonials is completely absent, with reports of delayed or absent deliveries, poor customer support, defective or wrong products, refund difficulties, and illegitimate charges on credit cards.

Is Stepgink.com a legitimate and reliable website?

No, it is not a legitimate or reliable website. The aforementioned red flags indicate that it lacks credibility and has been reported as a scam site. Customers have experienced receiving counterfeit products or facing difficulties in obtaining refunds or contacting the company.

What Should You Do If You Have Shopped on Stepgink.com?

Take the following steps if you have made a purchase on Stepgink.com:

  • Firstly, immediately contact your bank or financial institution if you paid with a credit card or debit card. Request them to cancel the transaction and initiate a refund. Additionally, report Stepgink.com as a fraudulent site and urge them to block future charges from it.
  • Promptly change your passwords if you have a Stepgink.com account or use the same password for other online accounts. Consider enabling two-factor authentication to enhance security against hackers attempting to access your accounts and steal personal information.
  • Beware of phishing emails related to your Stepgink.com order. Treat any emails offering discounts or refunds as phishing attempts. Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments that may contain malware. Delete such emails immediately.
  • To prevent malicious ads, Trojans, phishing attempts, and other undesirable content, use a browser-based content blocker like AdGuard. This will complement your antivirus software and provide enhanced protection.
  • If you suspect your device is infected with malware, scan it using Gridinsoft Anti-Malware to ensure your security.

Can I trust customer reviews or testimonials on Stepgink.com?

No, Stepgink.com does not have genuine customer feedback or testimonials. The absence of legitimate customer reviews further indicates its untrustworthiness and potentially fraudulent nature.
Stepgink.com Scam

Store Name: Stepgink.com

Store Description: Stepgink.com is an online store that has been identified as a fraudulent website involved in scam activities. It claims to offer a variety of items, often at extremely low prices, to attract unsuspecting customers. However, numerous red flags and customer reports indicate that Stepgink.com either sends counterfeit or inferior items, or fails to deliver anything at all. The website lacks genuine contact information, company details, and social media presence. It has been found to plagiarize content and product images from legitimate online stores, further compromising its credibility. Due to these factors, it is strongly advised to avoid Stepgink.com and similar websites to protect oneself from financial loss and potential scams.

Price range: $5 - $100

Address: no

Telephone: no

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User Review
4.11 (9 votes)
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About the author

Daniel Zimmerman

I'm Daniel, a seasoned professional deeply passionate about the realm of security and malware defense. With over a decade of experience in the security industry and a background in writing, I am thrilled to share my expertise through this cybersecurity blog.

Throughout my career, I've had the privilege of working on the front lines of cybersecurity, tirelessly combating emerging threats and safeguarding digital environments. This hands-on experience has allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the ever-evolving landscape of malware and cyber-attacks.

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