Don’t Fall for This Scam!

Seriously, do you really believe you can see something “miles away like you’re standing next to it”? We’ve been down this road before (see the first link at the end of this article). A $47 monocular is not better than a $3,000 telescope, but thousands of people who know nothing about optics fall for scams like this. This screen capture is from the top of a long ad on the internet.

Like prior similar scams, these monoculars are cheaply made in countries like China. The image quality is terrible. They are sold on dozens of web sites under dozens of different names. The prices at jacked up to as high as $80 but you can find them for as little as $9. They are not even worth $9 unless you just want to see for yourself how bad these monocular lenses are.

Top: 12X Chinese telephoto camera phone lens. Bottom: Canon 7D Mk II, Canon 100-400mm Mk II, Canon 1.4X Mk III. Both photos take at the same distance from the Rent-A-John.

I have purchased cheap Chinese lenses in prior scams like this one to test them out and see how bad they are (see the pair of photos above). Results of these comparison tests are at the second and third links below. Consumers who fell for this new version of the scam are already posting reviews about how awful these monocular lenses are.

These monocular lenses are essentially half a pair of binoculars, only poorly made, and many of them come with camera phone adapters so you can supposedly take amazing images of things that are “miles away”.

These scammers go to the internet and grab high quality professional photos that were created with high dollar professional camera equipment and they use the photos in their ads to give you the impression they were created with these lousy quality monoculars. I know this because I have been in contact with professional photographers that have had their images used without their knowledge in ads like this one.

Worse yet, many of these web sites are based in China or other countries which are beyond the reach of any legal action. They are known to overcharge your credit card, add huge shipping fees, and don’t honor their shady guarantees. Do not expect a refund of your money.

U.S. consumer protection laws do not apply to overseas purchases so your credit card company does not have to refund your money unless you paid for purchase protection. After taking a $11 billion annual hit as a result of credit card fraud, more and more credit card companies are refusing to refund consumers who fall for these obvious scams.

When I posted articles on my web site to warn about past scams like this, I got emails from people all over the country that were double and triple charged the price of the item and the companies behind these scams refused to refund their money. Not only that, their credit card company also refused to refund their money. Credit card companies are increasingly reluctant to take the hit for Americans who make stupid purchases from scam companies overseas.

This article is a quick advance warning. When I get some time I will follow up with a more detailed article, including examples of professional photos that were nabbed off the internet and used in ads to make these monocular lenses look good.

If you really want one of these things, do not buy one from one of the many shady web sites that have popped up. Go find one at Amazon, and make sure it is shipped by Amazon and not some dealer half a world away. There are all kinds of prices. If you look you can find one for as little as $9.

Caveat emptor!


The Chinese Lens Rip Off Series – Overpriced Camera Phone Lenses

The Chinese Lens Rip Off! Part Seven. Comparison test: telephoto phone lens vs DLSR and zoom lens

The Chinese Lens Rip Off! Part Nine. Comparison Test Two: 8-18X Telephoto Phone Lens vs 12X Telephoto Phone Lens