[Update] Suspected scam: Is retouren-produkte-retten.de a scam?

I am currently seeing an advertisement on YouTube, especially in the smartphone app, which advertises this text next to a photo of goods on pallets: Receive returned goods free of charge. Sign up and get products from shop returns sent to your home for free. The word "advertisement" is then used to identify the advertisement and next to it is the name of the advertising company: Returns Savior. It only becomes clear at second glance that this is not the company name, that the website has a different name and that the company is based in Cyprus. Other indications also raise doubts about the seriousness of the offer.

Screenshot of the advertisement on YouTube: There are many indications that retouren-produkte-retten.de is a fraud and wants to steal data via scam / phishing. The company headquarters in Cyprus, the supposedly volunteer team with way too much work, providing account details, stolen photos and more!
Screenshot of the advertisement on YouTube: There are many indications that retouren-produkte-retten.de is a fraud and wants to steal data via scam / phishing. The company headquarters in Cyprus, the supposedly volunteer team with way too much work, providing account details, stolen photos and more!

Preview: The offer sounds too good to be true

Although I name the website URL in this post, I assume no liability for it if you put it in the address line of your Browsers entered and then interacted with the page. That's why I don't include a direct link to the website. I didn't notice anything just looking at it, so no downloading malware or anything. But if your fingers are itching to try what's on offer, you might want to stay away from the site. You signed up for something that turned out to be a financial grave too quickly.

Several indications that retouren-produkte-retten.de is a scam

With this post, I do not want to make the rock-solid claim that you are being ripped off by the offer behind the YouTube ad. However, there are indications that this is a scam designed to collect data. If you have had positive experiences with retouren-produkte-retten.de, you are welcome to leave them as a comment. 

But here are the points of criticism that make me doubt the seriousness:

  • The company's registered office is in Cyprus on 1st April Street, indicated by the address of a bakery and an internet café (according to Google Maps).
  • Most of the photos on the website are stock footage
  • The image from the YouTube ad is copied from the website cazoom.nl, I guess without their permission.
  • The pictures under "Our warehouse" are photos from other websites, including those from MediaSTOCK24 GmbH in Oberhausen, from eBay classifieds and from b2bgrosshaendleradressen.de.
  • The social media links to YouTube, Instagram and Facebook do not lead to these platforms, but back to their own website.
  • The terms and conditions (terms and conditions) of the company or the offer are not visible anywhere on the site.
  • A volunteer team is said to be working for the offer, but when managing several containers of goods every day (statement on the website) in a warehouse, at least a few permanent and trained people would have to work there.
  • The products are allegedly suggested personally to the registered customers by telephone or e-mail so that they can be selected individually - this service would also have to incur costs.
  • The shipping costs as well - how should that be financed?
  • Everyone who registers must transfer 1 euro to prove "and the [sic!] you are really serious and your data is correct“ – that sounds more like checking the correctness of the account data so that you can then use it yourself.
  • Under "That's what our members say" there are supposedly "Verified Ratings", all with five stars. Where they are verified and from which rating platform they should come from, but that is kept secret.
The photos under the heading "Our camp" are all copied from other websites. They're not that easy to view or save, I had to take screenshots of them to trace them.
The photos under the heading “Our camp” are all copied from other websites. They're not that easy to view or save, I had to take screenshots of them to trace them.
The mostly generic reviews all come with five stars and rave reviews. However, it is not clear where they are supposed to be "verified". I guess someone here wants to pretend seriousness in all possible ways.
The mostly generic reviews all come with five stars and rave reviews. However, it is not clear where they are supposed to be “verified”. I guess someone here wants to pretend seriousness in all possible ways.

The returns business is for real businesses

It should be obvious that returns are not simply accepted, viewed, sorted, stored, offered, packed and shipped by volunteer teams. But if you want to learn more about the actual business with online returns, you can read the article “Retouren-Retter. Second life for online goods.” from the ZDF format planet e. You can find the approximately half-hour video with this link.

Cooperation with EasyPlus: A double fraud?

As a bonus for new members at retouren-produkte-retten.de, in addition to the supposedly free returned goods, there should also be a free trial month and 50 euros credit with the partner "EasyPlus". This site is said to give you up to 25% cashback per online purchase. That doesn't sound very serious either. On the website itself there should even be a starting credit of 250 euros for registration. A shopping and business center in Las Palmas is given as the company headquarters in the imprint. But at least there is also a service center in Berlin. With the exception of Facebook, all social media links lead to your own page. But I haven't gotten that smart from the side yet.

Search for experiences and test reports

Search using a search engine retouren-produkte-retten.de experiences or a test, then you won't really find anything. Even when looking for one EasyPlus experience or reviews on pages other than your own of the offer, it looks meager. But the two things that you actually find if you look closely are interesting:

  • A forum thread at MyDealz, in which no real experiences are mentioned and a lot of other stuff can be found, in which the return offer is also identified as scam / phishing due to a few signs: Here
  • A Trustpilot review of EasyPlus warning about scams (interestingly, EasyPlus shows supposed TrustPilot reviews on its site, which are nowhere to be found on the real Trustpilot site): Here

Update 01.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX: In the meantime I have also found the Trustpilot page with retouren-produkte-retten.de experiences and reviews - currently there are on the website two 1-star reviews that describe the offer as a scam or fake. update end

Why such aggressive advertising on YouTube?

I'm sure the site will be promoted on other platforms besides YouTube - Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and so on. But the sheer volume of ads is amazing. I see this ad multiple times a day, while other ads only appear XNUMX-XNUMX times or rotate more often. Here someone seems to have set out to collect as many "members" or data as possible as quickly as possible. Probably because such a scam is quickly discovered and the site will soon have to be taken down again.

Update 01.02.2023/2/XNUMX: In addition to the picture shown above, another photo is now used for advertising in the YouTube app. This can also be traced back easily. The photo, which shows various packages of goods stacked (on a pallet) and wrapped in foil, can be found again at bXNUMXbgrosshaendleradressen.de but also on merkandi.fr.

A new image has been added to the scammer ad on YouTube. But this is also stolen from another side.
A new image has been added to the scammer ad on YouTube. But this is also stolen from another side.

Update end

Update 03.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX: Pictures, imprint, Google and more

I've been keeping an eye on the website in question throughout the week. I've also received some feedback from the companies I've contacted about this. Before the weekend I can therefore present you this summary:

  • I received immediate feedback from MediaSTOCK24 GmbH that their image material was being used illegally on the website.
  • Samsung's press agency is investigating the alleged partnership with the site, but has not yet responded.
  • Only generic answers came back from all other alleged partners / returns suppliers. My message was apparently not understood as an editorial request.
  • Google reviewed the YouTube ad and found "appropriate measures taken', as stated in the reply email. I haven't seen the ad since then.
  • The imprint of the website remains a mystery - now it is there again  "BlueSnake Ltd, 14, 1st April Street Unit 3 Larnaca, 6035, Cyprus", but for a short time it said "Deutsche Produkttest & Rerourenverwertung UG, Augustuspl. 1-4, 04109 Leipzig” with Thomas Seibold as managing director. Below this list you will find a screenshot.
  • The EasyPlus promotion, which used to have a countdown, has been reset and is now running for another week. So the countdown is over. Especially with regard to the information in the newly added disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
  • Added a "Disclaimer": "We provide the participants' contact details to a German logistics company that has been commissioned by e-commerce brands to process and process returns. The resulting effort is covered by connected partners [...] and by commission [...] getragen"It says, among other things. But also that shipping costs may have to be borne by the recipients.
  • In addition, it is now stated that the photos on the website are only "examples". Content copied from other sites is still online as usual; also the photo already confirmed as illegally used.
  • If you look at the source text of the page, you will also find covers of magazines such as ComputerBILD, Brigitte, Stern, Focus, Gala and Bunte - here you can only rumor about what that's supposed to be. Possibly a magazine subscription or alleged reports about the offer were advertised in the print media. Or they are still used.
Since the EasyPlus countdown ended yesterday, I wanted to see what happens afterwards. It could have been that the page is then abandoned because enough data has been collected. But the site is still there. When looking through, however, I was able to make out a different imprint for a short time.
Since the EasyPlus countdown ended yesterday, I wanted to see what happens afterwards. It could have been that the page is then abandoned because enough data has been collected. But the site is still there. When looking through, however, I was able to make out a different imprint for a short time.

(End of update)

Update 08.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX: Information from the consumer advice centers

In order to collect a bit more professional feedback, I wrote to the individual consumer centers in the federal states. I asked in each case by e-mail whether there were any reports or complaints about retouren-produkte-retten.de or whether efforts were already being made to take action against the site. Below are the replies received so far:

  • Consumer Center Baden-Württemberg e. V: Due to the external circumstances, it can be assumed that the site only serves to generate data from consumers (including account data). This site has already been reported to us as a rogue site. Fortunately, there was no damage in the reports we received, since those affected had not registered here or responded to the money demand.
  • Consumer Center Mecklenburg-West Pomerania e. V: There are currently no complaints about this offer in MV, so we have not done any research on it.
  • Consumer Center Saarland e. V: After consulting our legal advisors, I can tell you that we have not had any complaints about this website here in Saarland.
  • Consumer Center Hamburg eV: We have no complaints about the portal, but after looking at the site we would advise consumers to stay away from this service provider.
  • Consumer Center Lower Saxony eV: Like you, we also notice that the imprint is available, but a company headquarters in Cyprus is specified and the general terms and conditions are also missing. So caution is advised here.

(End of update)

Conclusion: If offers are too good to be true, then they are not true

As mentioned above, I don't want to put the scam stamp on it directly, but it's definitely out and has already been stamped onto the red ink pad. All indications are that the "Retouren Retter" advertising on YouTube is leading to a scam offering, through which data such as address, e-mail address, telephone number and account details are to be tapped. The latter must be confirmed by a transfer of 1 euro. And all this for the work of a volunteer team? I do not think so. I will now write to the partners mentioned on the page and the operators of the image sources and ask what they think of it...

Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership would support.

9 comments on "[Update] Suspected scam: Is retouren-produkte-retten.de a scam?"

    1. Hello Kerstin,

      you should definitely keep an eye on your account movements. You can also inform your bank about the case so that they can pay attention to suspicious transactions. If the one euro was debited (if this is done at all), then you should withdraw the direct debit mandate from the associated account at the bank.

      A request to consumer protection is certainly also helpful, they know more about the further procedure and the possible legal channels.

      Filing a police report can also help, although the people behind the site may be overseas, making investigations more difficult.

      If you can delete the specified e-mail address and replace it with a new one, that is certainly a plus for security. Alternatively, you can move the important accounts created with it (for online banking, online shops, etc.) to another e-mail address.

      Otherwise I cannot help you directly. Unfortunately, I cannot offer you any technical advice or legal advice. I hope you can get help for more qualified positions.

      Best regards
      John

  1. Thank you for your research! I also immediately thought about the postage costs that arise and that nobody wants to send money.

  2. Thank you for this article. I also thought: too good to be true. I rather googled it and fortunately found you here.

  3. Hello
    I was stupid too...
    I now have the question of whether I can give myself the registered letter with the withdrawal of the direct debit permit or whether I should do it anyway.
    Greetings Claudia

  4. First of all, thank you for the detailed research.
    My wife sent me the link to produktretter and asked if it would be something for us.
    So after I worked my way through the registration just for fun, and the query for the IBAN came for the transfer of the shipping costs (max. €2,99) and the reference to the cashback-back portal EasyPlus, it was almost clear that this was not the case can go about things right.
    Greetings Frank

    1. Hello Frank,

      thank you for pointing this website out. We have changed the URL and thus the link to it so as not to tempt other readers of the blog to click. But I'll do some snooping about it. It looks like the same people behind the site described here built this new site. The design, the text sections, EasyPlus as a partner and also a few details in the source code are surprisingly similar.

      Best regards
      John

  5. It wasn't debited from my account, but I received an e-mail telling me that my trial month had started and that I would then have to pay €9,90 a month for the membership. Of course I canceled “this” membership with immediate effect! Today I received the cancellation confirmation via email. I haven't noticed any unusual account movements so far, but I check this regularly anyway.

    1. Did the same (i.e. canceled easy plus membership immediately) The only problem is that I gave my Iban to the other website (free promotional items from Euro Ticket)... and you can’t contact them anywhere... was anything else debited from you?

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