JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — King Crab Legs; No, Really

I am a sucker for seafood. No, wait, let me shorten that sentence. I am a sucker.

You’d think by now, at my ripe old age, I’d know to be mindful of the old saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” In my case, I’d change “probably” to “definitely.”

I got scammed. Really, really scammed. Here’s what happened.

I was paging through my Facebook account one day a few weeks ago and saw an ad for seafood. More specifically, King Crab Legs. (I love them so much I always capitalize them.) I don’t remember the name of the company — more about that in a minute — but I think it had the state of Alaska in the name. Or Maine. Memory is not my strong suit any more.

The company said it was overstocked with King Crab Legs and was putting them on sale “for a limited time — until they’re gone.”

So I bit. I clicked. Sure enough, there they were: Six pounds of King Crab Legs for just $32.99. Five and half bucks a pound. Plus $8.99 for shipping. Total: $41.98. Delivered to my door in Bismarck in just two or three days.

Anybody see any red flags yet?

Well, I was a little skeptical, but their sales pitch was REALLY GOOD, and I’m an old marketing guy and a sucker for a good sales pitch. There’s that word again.

It looked too good to be true, but it was King Crab Legs for cripes sake! Now, King Crab Legs have been selling for anywhere between $19.99 and $29.99 a pound at Costco in Bismarck, more at other stores. So expensive I haven’t bought them for at least a year, back when they were just $12.99 or so.

And here’s this company that has so many King Crab Legs in stock they’re dumping them AT $5.50! I reached for my wallet. I got out my credit card. I clicked on “Order Now.”

Name. Address, Phone number. E-mail address. Credit card number. Gulp. ****-****-****-****.

Gulp again. “Purchase.”

Now I’ve bought dozens of things online — books, records, clothes, shoes, wine … quite a long list. I’ve never, ever, been burned before.

But as soon as that company had my credit card number, I began to get nervous. But I put all thoughts of getting ripped off out of my mind as quickly as I began deciding whether I should boil them or cook them on the grill. I’ve done both. Both good.

What should I have with them? Twice-baked potatoes? Corn on the cob? What kind of wine? Chardonnay? Pinot Grigio? Prosecco?

Six pounds. Should I invite company or save half for a second meal?

It was a Saturday, so they’d be here Monday or Tuesday. I checked my calendar. I had no supper commitments until the next Saturday. Actually, I had almost nothing on my calendar for the rest of my life. The beauty of old age and retirement. I’ll wait until they get here, then make those decisions. Dang. So much to decide.

Later that day, I got a real official e-mail:


Dear Jim Fuglie. We have received your order. 803ZJ-584VF1P.

You will receive another e-mail once it has been dispatched and you can keep an eye on the status of your order by clicking here, logging in, and pressing the View Orders’ button.

If you have any questions or problems, contact our Customer Care team (serviceteam@overstepbpo.com) directly for help with your order number, followed by a really cool picture of a hand grabbing my order of crab legs and getting ready to put them in a shipping box.

Well, great. Starting Monday, I began keeping a close eye out for the mailman and the UPS truck. And checking my e-mail for one that says my King Crab Legs are on the way. Monday went by. Then Tuesday. Then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday …  still waiting. Uh oh.

I had checked my credit card statement online to see if they had billed me. There was nothing showing up with King Crab or Alaska or Maine in the transactions list. The only thing I could find that I didn’t recognize was a company called ZEBJEE. For $41.98. Oh, OK, that must be it. So, they’ve been paid. My King Crab Legs should be here any day. They’re a little late, but you know the woes of the Postal Service these days.

Two weeks went by. This week, I got really nervous. Went back to the credit card bill. And then back to the order confirmation e-mail. Tried clicking where it said “click here” but there was no link. Looked down at the message and saw “overstepbpo.com” so I Googled it. Turns out it is a company that sells ladies’ clothing. Here’s what it says on their “About” page:

“Overstepbo is an online clothing boutique designed for women by women. We have been providing our clientele of bold, beautify women with stylish premium clothing and unparalleled customer service since 2023.”

Well. And then this:

Before we talk about us, let’s talk about you:

“You are a woman who believes that with the right look, anything is possible.  You want your clothes to make you feel more than just sexy — you want to feel confident, powerful, and stylish.  You love quality and being on the edge of current trends but appreciate the elegance and sophistication of classic design.  You are busy, on-the-go, and eager to carve your mark on the world — and you simply want stylish, modern, high-quality clothing that makes you feel like the beautiful, powerful woman you are.”

            Well, no mention of King Crab Legs. But lots of women’s dresses.

Lots and lots of dresses. Priced from $6.99 to $89.99. Wait. A dress for $6.99? I’ve got to see this. Wow! A sleveless, v-neck. strap dress. For just $6.99!  Here, take a look for yourself! Hmmm. I guess the $6.99 is for the size “small.” $8.95 for XL.

Wait a minute. Am I starting to see a pattern here? I went looking for info on this company. It took some digging (I know, I’ve got to get a life) but I found out that “We are a customer support and sales call center. Our mission is to be the market leader in BPO industry and create quality work for our new and existing …”

Located in Pakistan, F-744, Ijaz ALi kayani Plaza, near City Super Market, New Katarian Satellite Town, Rawalpindi, Punjab 46300, Pakistan.

BPO industry? What’s that? I’ve never heard of that. More Googling. “Business Process Outsourcing.” Mr. Google says BPO is “a method of subcontracting various business-related operations to third-party vendors.”

OK, if you’ve read this far, you’ll realize that I am waaaayyy down a rabbit hole, and I need to get out.

But dang, there’s that company that has my credit card number. And there’s no way to contact them because the only name I have is ZEBJEE. So I googled them. Turns out they sell men’s pants, not women’s dresses. In Indonesia, not so far from Pakistan. Uh oh. No mention of King Crab Legs. Or any kind of seafood.

I looked a little further on Google. Found this:

This company … “engages in deceptive tactics to trick customers into placing orders and handing over their money or sensitive personal information, making it a scam website.

OK, so I’ve been had. What to do?

I grabbed my credit card, found an 800 number on it and called. I had to go through some clicks and number selections, but finally I got the nicest lady I’ve ever talked to on the phone. I explained what happened. I said I felt bad and hated to bother her, but I really Like King Crab Legs and got suckered. She said she understood. She likes them, too.

She asked me what I paid for them. I told her. I caught just a hint of an audible whistle on her end.

Well, she said, I’ll see what I can do. I can’t promise to get your money back, but I can block this company from making any more charges to your account.

I said that was all that I could expect and that I had learned a $40 lesson.

And that, I said to myself, was that. Until this morning. I opened my credit card account on my computer to check on another purchase I had made last night (concert tickets — Marshall Tucker Band and Jefferson Starship at Prairie Kight Casino in May. Yeah, I know, that almost sounds to good to be true, too, doesn’t it?). Yep, there they were. Four tickets.

And there, right there, on my credit card bill, just a couple of lines below the ticket purchase, were the words “purchase adjustment — $41.98”

Holy Cow! She did it! She got me my money back!

I don’t know if she actually got a refund from “ZEBJEE” or if she just made good on a credit card company guarantee to take care of its customers. In any case, she gave me my money back. No King Crab Legs, but no charge. THAT is a good credit card company. Capital One. (“What’s in your wallet?”)

So here’s what else I know. I went to Costco this week and looked at King Crab Legs. Still about 20 bucks a pound. I passed. But I am really a lucky guy. In the past week or so, all kinds of advertisements for King Crab Legs are showing up on my Facebook page. Imagine that! Boy, I’m thinking about having some crab dinners. Just look:

  • Woralak Seafoods (“labsters” and crab, especially “Norwagian” crab. Shipped to you fresh — you ready for this — from Thailand.
  • Backyard Butchers in Castroville, Texas. Grand Opening Today! (Isn’t that a coincidence!). Just go to the Tractor Supply Co. store and “look for our BIG WHITE TRUCK in the parking lot!” Wow! TSC! We’ve got one of those in Bismarck. Maybe …
  • And This! From Foodie! Looks delicious, once you put the initial thoughts of obscenity out of your mind.

And there are more. The only thing I’m seeing more of on Facebook than King Crab Legs ads is Taylor Swift.

But dang, I’ve been hungry for King Crab Legs, so the other night we decided to go to Red Lobster for supper. Where I could satisfy my hunger. Guess what? Red Lobster no longer has King Crab Legs on the menu. Too expensive, I guess. I thought about telling my waitress about ZEBJEE. Nah.

2 thoughts on “JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — King Crab Legs; No, Really”

  • Dina Butcher February 3, 2024 at 1:58 pm

    You were lucky. Someday I will tell you about MULTIPLE charges for “escort services” in places I would like to have been, but likely at this point in my life, will not. Why would I EVER need an escort service???

  • Richard Henry Watson February 5, 2024 at 9:44 pm

    well you did not get gout–well you are as dumb as your old buddy Rick who once almost turned his desk top over to some fella in India–Rock On–


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