Just in case you didn't see what she actually wrote...
One person. Really, Lauren?
Before we examine that claim as well as the evidence outlined in this post, I just want to address something. I have been buying and selling items over the internet for many years. I started when I was quite young and have encountered all manner of businesses via the internet, as well as all manner of people doing business, good and bad, shady and honest. I have purchased items that never made it to me (very rarely, only about 5 instances I can recall in roughly 12 years of being in the online marketplace) and I have had to issue a refund when an item I shipped never made it to a country with much more inscrutable customs regulations (Germany, one incident). It's called taking responsibility and being professional. Sometimes the mail really does get lost; it happens, and as a seller, you must be prepared to (financially) deal with that outcome. But it is rare, even if one has a relatively high volume of outgoing packages.
One thing I have never encountered, though, in all of the time I have done business over the internet is someone who lied about buying something. Not someone who purchased an item and then claimed it never arrived--that does happen occasionally, and it's called fraud. I'm talking about what Lauren claimed is happening in the above quote, that there are people actually lying about purchasing Deumos items from her in the first place, just to further cause drama for her. I have never seen this happen. Never. And I think there's a pretty valid reason for that. Why would a rational person lie about something that they know they cannot prove? What would a person have to gain from just SAYING they purchased something from someone and that it never arrived? It's not like, in that case, there is any proof of the transaction ever occurring and therefore there is any solid ground for a refund. So in that scenario, the "customer" knows they don't have a leg to stand on and the seller knows that, too. It's a very improbable, irrational and nonsensical claim. Which is why it almost never happens. People do scam each other over the internet. People do lie. But this particular claim of Lauren's--that people are lying about ever having purchased Deumos items from her just to fuel drama--just isn't happening. I present to you the evidence.
Case #1: Tӓhti Syrjala
Read about Tӓhti's case in detail in Part I, here. For the purposes of keeping this extensively-covered case short in order to proceed to the lesser-known individuals who were also scammed by Lauren Cook, here is the Paypal screenshot of Tӓhti's payment, as well as the screenshot of her review, which is still up and can be viewed here.
Here is a segment of an email she wrote in response to Nicola G., who is Case #3 in the Deumos scam. This screencap shows what Tӓhti had to go through to even receive her refund.
To date, Tӓhti is the one and only person to have received a full refund after being scammed by Lauren. Read on and decide for yourself why Lauren chose to only refund Tӓhti and none of the other people she scammed.
Case #1 status: refunded, but delayed and after much internet drama
Case #2: Chelsea/serenrae
Chelsea (serenrae.net) was the second person to come forward about being scammed by Lauren. The post she made with her original Paypal screencap can be found here.
Tӓhti reblogged Chelsea (serenrae/leithia) and added:
Chelsea never received her bra or her money back, and had unfortunately waited beyond Paypal's 45-day mark to open a transaction dispute. Lauren completely ignored her requests to know where her item was and kept her money. In a word: scammed.
Case #2 status: unresolved
Case #3: Nicola G./nikkinoir
Nicola G. (nikkinoir on Tumblr) purchased a pair of customized heels from Lauren on April 17th, 2011. Here is the description of what happened as she wrote in an email to me:
Proof of her Paypal payment:
Nicola also contacted Tahti and Chelsea regarding the scam, since she, too, had been banned from commenting in Lauren's blog and received no reply to her email inquiries.
And this is the only email correspondence she received back from Lauren after politely inquiring about the status of her package. Notice how Lauren refers to her by her Tumblr nickname, yet claims she "had to search Google and old logs" for her email address (when Nicola had emailed her directly, as seen below, and Lauren also had the Paypal email address). It doesn't make much sense. Actually, the message itself doesn't make much sense. Observe:
So, instead if showing concern about her missing package, Lauren immediately had to refute the public comment Nicola made on Lauren's blog that said she scammed "hundreds" of girls. This is just my opinion, but I think maybe Lauren had a little too much to drink before deleting Nicola's comment and writing that email, as I have researched this situation extensively and have yet to see anyone say that. (For the purposes of technicality, it is true that Lauren scammed hundreds of DOLLARS out of many people, though.) Also, in the very first screencap posted at the beginning of this entry, Lauren initially claimed that one person's package was "lost" in the UK post. Suddenly, one has become three. An old adage comes to mind: If it doesn't make sense, then it's probably not true.
Nicola never received her shoes, a refund, or even an apology for being scammed and ignored.
Case #3 status: unresolved
Case #4: Ellie/neverlandbegins
Remember this series of Stickam screencaps from Part III? Ellie (neverlandbegins on Tumblr/pearsani on Stickam) went to Lauren's live Stickam stream during the Deumos drama to ask about her missing jumper. Lauren pretended her Firefox browser froze, stared at the screen and played with her makeup while ignoring Ellie's inquiries. Read Part III to see why the frozen Firefox excuse is yet another one of Lauren's lies to shirk responsibility and act like she had no idea one of her scammed customers was trying to contact her after being banned from her blog and emails ignored:
Ellie posted the screenshot of her Paypal payment to her Tumblr, which can be found here:
The following screencap (take note of the date) was taken from Ellie's Tumblr, from this entry:
And Lauren posted this shrieking comment in response to that entry, which is still visible:
Ellie posted a message she received from another scammed customer, terrortwin (see case #7). Lauren then sent Ellie a message (which Ellie posted directly after terrortwin's message) to bully Ellie with her false claims over giving her a tracking number, calling her a liar, and actually threatening her.
Does this sound like someone who is caring, honest, genuine, and compassionate, as her disciples insist her to be? Or does it sound more like the actions of a guilty, defensive, painfully insecure, bullying scammer who was beginning to realize that she had dug her own grave? How can someone treat her own customers this way? These are her customers and followers, who never once throughout this ordeal attacked her character, but simply wanted to know where their packages were and if she had shipped them at all.
Case #4 status: unresolved
Case #5: Wilhelmina/fabulousmimi
The following screen capture is the first post I was able to locate regarding Deumos on Wilhelmina's Tumblr (fabulousmimi.tumblr.com). It seems that she did contact Lauren in late August of 2011 and was assured that her package was "lost" in the UK post and that the issue was being resolved. Remember, Lauren said the same thing to Tӓhti at first...
The resolution never came, and Wilhelmina was ultimately blocked from Lauren's blog for asking about her missing package, as well as the following comment deleted:
She then contacted Chelsea (serenrae/leithia) about it because she could no longer contact Lauren.
The following is from Wilhelmina's Tumblr, with screencaps arranged chronologically.
Ignored and blocked for inquiring about her missing package. She never got a refund or her shoes, either.
Case #5 status: unresolved
Case #6: daveedbear
Like anything else associated with the Deumos scam, the following comment was deleted from Lauren's blog. Apparently daveedbear is a fellow she was acquainted with via Stickam and had known for years. He originally bought a gift from Lauren for a friend, who was a fan of hers. According to what is written in the next screencap taken from his Tumblr, he had been friendly with Lauren for several years and she had always replied to his messages... that is, until he gave her his money. She kept that, and he was blocked and ignored, as though nothing had ever happened.
The following was screencapped from his Tumblr post about Lauren, found here.
I wonder if it was really worth it to Lauren to burn all of these bridges and lose friendships... just for some petty cash.
Case #6 status: refunded by Paypal (not by Lauren)
Case #7: terrortwin
Tumblr user terrortwin (blog now password-protected) sent the above scammed customer, Ellie, a message regarding her own Deumos experience.
Terrortwin posted her own entry on her Tumblr about being scammed by Lauren. Unfortunately, it is no longer visible. The original post was reblogged here and can be viewed below.
After Lauren sent Ellie and terrortwin her histrionic, threatening message, she then partially refunded terrortwin, clearly in a hasty attempt to get her to keep quiet about being scammed. Notice how completely Lauren changed her previously enraged tune when terrortwin gushed over receiving an incomplete refund and stated she would be removing her original statements about Lauren. It really makes me wonder what Lauren must have said to her in private...
That's what we call bribery, folks. Paying someone hush money to keep quiet and retract their statements is bribery. Only the guilty would bribe someone to cover up their wrongdoings. Someone who is innocent would have no reason to threaten and then pay a person to keep quiet.
Case #7 status: partially refunded (bribed)
Case #8: Alan P./alzeepark
Lauren decided to sell her Canon camera body shortly after the Deumos scam came to light (yeah, really) in order to come up with "money for a new apartment" (see end of this entry). She initially advertised the sale on Tumblr, but since news of the scam was still fresh, incredibly, no one took the bait. She then opted to list it on eBay:
A fellow also within the UK (alzeepark) did purchase the camera from her. However, it appears that she thought she could just collect the money and not ship it out, as the buyer was forced to contact her on Twitter (of all places) two weeks later to inquire about the expensive camera body he was waiting to receive:
She then finally shipped it out (or maybe Rich did, since she never actually leaves her apartment). Either way, she sat on the large sum of money she received from the sale and didn't contact the (local) buyer for 2 weeks afterward. In this case, it's a good thing that eBay has a strict buyer protection policy, or this poor person most likely would have been ripped off, too.
The following lukewarm feedback was left for Lauren.
He got lucky in this case, although it is inexcusable and quite telling that Lauren only took action after Dan addressed his concerns to Twitter.
Case #8 status: item received, but weeks later and only after Twitter inquiry
So, in all, that is 7 cases that I have been able to uncover so far as having been scammed by Lauren Cook. Out of all of these cases:
- Only one was actually, fully refunded by Lauren (Tӓhti)
- Only one managed to open a Paypal claim in time to get refunded via Paypal (daveedbear)
- One outside of the Deumos fraud actually received his eBay item, but after a considerable wait and only because he took it to Twitter (and likely also because Lauren didn't want to jeopardize her ability make future eBay purchases) (alzeepark)
- And one was partially refunded/bribed to keep her mouth shut and retract her statements that she was scammed (terrortwin).
In all, only one person actually received a full refund from Lauren as a result of the Deumos fraud, and that's Tӓhti. And I think we all know why Tӓhti is the only person who Lauren personally recompensed. It's because she is well-known on the internet. That's all Lauren cares about throughout this--her reputation. She fully refunded Tӓhti in the hopes that it would clear her name. To hell with everyone else, apparently. That leaves 5 other people (that we know of so far, there very well could be more) who are still out their money and received nothing at all from Lauren, not even so much as an apology.
On September 13th, 2011, Lauren closed her ask box on Tumblr. Apparently she didn't like receiving so many messages about her recent criminal activity, so she decided to just block it out:
Very soon after closing her ask box, she actually decided to open up another sale page. (Really? REALLY?) She spun some tale about needing money for a new apartment, as she and Rich were supposedly getting evicted (!), but unfortunately for her, she couldn't even keep that lie straight. Observe the difference in dates that SHE posted:
And here's a view of the notes from someone's dash on the above entry with comment goodness. Hmmmm. Naturally, she deleted that entry and forged boldly on with her new sale effort, which is actually still up but seems to have been abandoned:
Fortunately, it doesn't appear that anyone purchased from that particular sale.
Special Case: hannahcharlotte
This name may look familiar to you. If you have ever seen Lauren on webcam, this person, hannahcharlotte, pops in occasionally and posts the usual fangirlish "you look beautiful/love you felice" comments within the chat, and they seem to get along fine, of course.
Originally, I had only seen the Stickam chat logs pictured further below and had (incorrectly!) assumed that hannahcharlotte was another scammed Deumos customer, especially since her inquiries to Lauren were happening during Lauren's marathon live (drinking) session to ignore the exploding internet drama post-Tӓhti's review. However, the following comment was posted in this entry by an anon who claims to be a friend of Hannah's:
So, Hannah sent Lauren a gift package, requesting only a thank-you note or a doodle or something in return. Just a small act of courtesy as thanks for getting a package of free stuff and for reading this girl's letter that she put her own time and effort into. Not an unreasonable request. And Lauren couldn't even do that. Here she is ignoring Hannah's inquiries during a few different live sessions.
All the while, she'll answer this same girl's questions on Tumblr regarding bullying. She'll talk to someone publicly, using generic English pet names, if she can make herself look like some kind of sage, compassionate beacon for the downtrodden. But not if she has to actually make an effort to be genuinely kind to those who clearly idolize her for whatever reason.
Hannahcharlotte still shows up in Lauren's Stickam shows frequently, and they chat like nothing ever happened. As far as I know, the girl never got a thank-you letter from Lauren. It appears that this is a case in which hannahcharlotte idolizes Lauren so much, she is willing to let it go or maybe is afraid of the repercussions if she goes public with the information. I cannot say for sure, as I have attempted to contact Hannah myself to no avail. But ultimately, it's just the final case in a long list of those who were left being owed products, money, or even something as small as a token act of kindness from Lauren.
On September 14th, the day after Lauren closed her ask box on her blog and opened her now-abandoned sale page, she posted the following entry to let everyone know how she really felt about everything she had done up to that point.
Indeed. Scamming your own fans and acting as though nothing ever happened while blocking and ignoring them is totally the right thing to do. It is compelling that she speaks about "acquaintances" treating people badly and relying on selfishness to survive when that is the very essence of what she did with her Deumos fraud. Could someone be any more lacking in self-awareness? Could someone be any less like the saintly, caring image she tries so hard to portray? These are rhetorical questions. All of the evidence outlined in this post speaks for itself.