Tag Archives: Shadowhawk

Gouged by Defender X tactical pens

If you want to write, you’d like a light, and you might need to fight, maybe a tactical pen is for you?

Let’s dig into Defender X (who sometimes just calls themselves “Defender”) with the sharp corners of our Scam-O-Meters and see what we uncover.  There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices. But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true, +1 means false, and 0 means undetermined.  I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.

Ridiculous claims: -1

  • These days, in a world where terrorism, and natural disasters are becoming the norm, it’s more important than ever to have the right tactical gear.
  • Groundbreaking technology” is used by uniformed services.  Would that be the built-in flashlight?
  • If you’re lost in the woods, you can take notes as to your position or mark landmarks, etc.advises Bold Survivalist.

Suspicious location: -1.  Defender X is really Shadowhawk.  These two mailboxes are also used by known scammer Shadowhawk.  The Terms and Conditions confirm the relationship.

  • Corporate; 7582 Las Vegas Blvd. S #115-405, Las Vegas, NV 89123
  • Returns; 7875 Highlands Village Place, Suite B102 #401, San Diego, CA 92129

Onerous terms: 0.  I’ve seen much worse, so I’m cutting them some slack.  However,

  • If you reverse their credit card charge, that’s theft.
  • They don’t guarantee that the pen is fit for any use.
  • You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them, or join a group arbitration.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1

  • They’ll use the information you give them plus all they can suck out of your browser to beam ads at you and spam you.
  • They’ll share it with other companies that will do the same.
  • You can unsubscribe from individual mailing lists.
  • If they sell their company, your information is part of the deal.

Lying and deception: -1.  Would you give a liar your credit card?

  • Developed “in collaboration with law enforcement professionals.”  But one of the pictured pens is available thru Alibaba in lots of 10 or more.
  • Officers stated in interviews said that the most important tool you can carry is the item that happens to be in your hand, which more often turns out to be a pen.”  But the consensus on officer.com is that tactical pens are ridiculous.  “Yeah, you can cause some damage with it but if you are stabbing someone as an LEO it’s a lethal force situation, and your not stopping a dedicated attacker with a superficial stab wound.  …How much time are you willing to dedicate to training for what is, IMO, an inferior option to those things you already know how to do and are trained on by your department?

Obfuscation: -1

  • Careful on the order form; it’s pre-filled for a quantity of five pens ($145).
  • Once you go to the order form your browser’s back button is disabled.

Phony reviews: -1.  Featured testimonials and fake review sites.

Crummy product: 0.  Unknown.  Keep in mind that a scam may involve a good product.

Overpriced: -1.  Defender X asks $56 for one pen.  Amazon offers what sure looks like the same pen for $18.

75% discount: -1.  True.


Total score; -8

Unauthorized charges: Defender X inherits Shadowhawk’s CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT.  The Better Business Bureau rates Shadowhawk “F” with over 200 complaints; as of February 2017 they were up to their old tricks.  “I had 2 $8.95 a month charges come from 2 different companies monthly for a “Membership” for items monthly. I never received anything nor did I knowingly sign up for the membership,posted Jameison A.  An ominous sign; Defender X doesn’t accept PayPal.


Conclusion: I think the main advantage of a tactical pen is showing it off to your buddies.  There’s nothing wrong with this.  But don’t get entangled with these scammers; buy one at a store or on Amazon.

Bonus outtake:  The order form has pictures of totally different pens.difflaugh

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Bizwhiznetwork.com; a small business with issues

Heavily involved in internet marketing, BizWhizNetwork.com has viruses or malware on many of its web pages.  And it has the same physical address as Shadowhawk Flashlights.

What sort of company is this?  I set out to find out.

I first noticed Bizwhiznetwork.com (red links are risky, do not click) while I was looking into the LUX HD450 smartphone lens scam.  In July 2016 I posted information about the connections of the LUX operation, which lead to Shadowhawk Flashlights and Bizwhiznetwork.com.  Because Shadowhawk is a widely-known scammer, I assumed that Bizwhiznetwork.som must somehow be involved in scamming, too.

While I was in Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport on 1/23/17, I received an email from someone at Bizwhiznetwork.com.  It said:

Hello I am contacting you in regards to bizwhiznetwork.com we are no scammers and would appreciate it if you can remove your negative things about us on your website. This was a project that i have work long and hard on for years now since being hack and getting malware on my site Im asking politely now to remove me from web scammer jammer. thank you

Is this web site risky to look at?

The email included the company’s web address.  Curiously, I touched it:

It looked like the airport’s wifi gateway was blocking bizwhiznetwork.com.  I did a search on whether the website was safe; Norton said it wasn’t.

The Bizwhizhetwork.com email had mentioned the same problem.  Maybe they are just a victim of some external hacker?  I replied, asking “Would you like to tell me more about your business?”  I received no response.

From home, I tried to access the page again, after making sure that my Safari browser had the BitDefender extension:

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-7-20-09-pm

BitDefender’s “Stoplight” feature flags risky web links with red lights.  I saw a lot of them when I googled for Bizwhiznetwork.com:

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-11-18-am

What sort of company is this?

bizwhiznetwork.com looks to be an enterprising small business that specializes in online marketing support.  It attempts to cover many specialties.

All in one small business solution Based in Las Vegas , NV the Bizwhiznetwork.com Consultant Service provides the best in: *Public Relations *Web Design *Brand Awareness *SEO *Marketing & Advertising *Social Media *Business Reputation

Categories: Advertising, Graphic Design, Printing, Advertising Agencies, Public Relations, Business Consultants, Website Design And Seo

“SEO” means “Search Engine Optimization.”  Here’s an explanation of SEO.  It’s apparent that Bizwhiznetwork.com specializes in servicing companies that sell stuff on the web.

  • Bizwhiznetwork.com has a skeletal Instagram profile that boasts “Commercial branding experts.
  • Bizwhiznetwork.com has a YouTube channel with one video.  It’s entitled “How To Make Money Fast Online.”
  • I see ads by Bizwhiznetwork.com for an app called InstaSaver; for example, here.

BizwhizNetwork.com operates a web site that features short, innocuous news stories.  Safe sites that echo Bizwhiznetwork.com offer such headlines as:

What’s special about its location?

FourSquare lists this business contact information:

Bizwhiznetwork.com
7582 Las Vegas Blvd S (Las Vegas Blvd)
Las Vegas, NV 89123

(702) 509-5056

I see a UPS store at this address.  The Better Business Bureau of southern Nevada  lists the above as the address of well-known scammer Shadowhawk Flashlights.  Maybe this is just a coincidence?  The two businesses could be renting separate mailboxes and have nothing to do with each other.

What about its reputation?

I found no complaints about bizwhiznetwork.com at the BBB, RipoffReport.com or PissedConsumer.com.  I found no complaints by doing searches on Google.  But I found no in-depth reviews or ratings of bizwhiznetwork.com either.

If you know anything about Bizwhiznetwork.com, please reply!  Thank you.

The sticky web of the LUX HD450 phone lens scam

 

danger-theft

Much of this web is in darkness; here is what I’ve been able to figure out as of 7/25/16.

The product

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 11.07.26 PMThis scam involves a poor-quality, overpriced set of clip-on lenses for smart phone cameras.  The vendor habitually delivers and charges for five sets, regardless of how many sets the customer orders. Thru credit card fraud, many customers have lost over $100 on these lenses advertised at $29 and selling for $10 on Amazon.

The Mailbox

LUX HD450 corporate headquarters are here:

mailbox serviceHow to contact LUX HD450:
Lux HD450
2658 Del Mar Heights Rd #368
Del Mar, CA 92014 USA
Phone: 1-844-220-5101
International Returns Address:
PO Box 7574
Milton Keynes, MK119GQ, UK
Email: support@luxhd450.com
France: soutien@luxhd450.fr
Germany: kundendienst@luxhd450.de

The website

WebsiteInformer.com lists LuxLense LLC (see “The company”) as the owner of luxhd450.com .  The website gets over 25,000 visits a day.  My blogs get at most 600 a day.  I feel like a gnat trying to defend a goal the size of NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building.

“Well, you can’t teach everybody!”  -Dr. Jennifer Brown

Godaddy.com started hosting luxhd450.com on March 17, 2016, per EasyCounter.  Odd that LuxLense LLC’s address for website-owning purposes is different:

las vegas.png

7582 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas Nevada 89123

The connections

What a coincidence.  This is the address of another scammer I’ve blogged about; Shadowhawk Flashlights.

It’s also the address of Bizwhiznetwork.com.  This company’s lines of business on 7/25/16 included online jobs and pre-payday loans.

The company

The bottom of the LUX HD450 web page (which, we now see, might really be owned by Shadowhawk) says “Made by LUXHD Cameras.”  This company is imaginary; I’ve found no mention of it by anybody other than LUX HD450.

No manufacturer?  No problem.  At their prices, they can afford to buy the lenses from Amazon and repackage them.  However, there really is a company behind LUX HD450.  Trademarkia states, “LUX HD450 is a product created by LuxLense LLC,” same address.  The company was incorporated March 17, 2016 in Delaware, via its registered agent Paracorp.  What a coincidence; that’s the date the LUX HD450 website went up on Godaddy.com.

The lawyer

To communicate with LuxLense LLC’s mysterious owner, one must apply to his or her legal correspondent, a Los Angeles business lawyer.  The lawyer’s address is shown below; apparently, he likes to keep a low profile.

JOSEPH D HUSER, JOE HUSER, ESQ., 424 S BROADWAY, SUITE 902, LOS ANGELES, CA 90013Judson.png

The trademark

LuxLense LLC’s assets include one trademark; LUX HD450, created May 24, 2016 according to Inventively.  Trademark File lists its status on June 1, 2016 as “New application – not assigned to an Examiner.”

 

If you’re a victim

I am very sorry to learn it. Here’s the best advice I’ve been able to come up with for victims of phone lens scams.

Related posts

Death by laughter; Shadowhawk tactical laser

Sexy and slightly dangerous, small lasers join electric lighters in that odd class of web scams; good products sold in an evil way.

Overpriced

I’m picking on Shadowhawk again because I so detest their veterans charity scam, Operation Hero Relief.  But on 7/18/16 the identical laser was being sold on several sites:

  • Shadowhawk military tactical laser MAX MV; $69
  • Ultrabeam survival laser; $54 (no battery)
  • Nighthawk tactical laser; $70 ($56 + $14 for a battery)
  • Galleon / Camplife tactical laser pointer (out of stock)
  • Amazon / Camplife tactical laser pointer ($25, out of stock)
  • eBay ($6.59 and up)

(I’m only providing links for the “good guys;” you can google the others if you’d like.)  I’m showing the single-unit prices here.

What’s a fair price?  For once, Amazon let me down.  So I shopped for a similar laser from a reputable vendor, and came up with LaserPointerPro’s “Green laser pointer pen” for $12.99.  Like the Shadowhawk, the LaserPointerPro is a 5 mw 532 nm laser, the maximum power the US government allows for laser pointers.  It can make star patterns on your ceiling.  You can torment your cat with it.  And in several ways it’s actually better than the Shadowhawk:

  • Uses two standard AAA batteries
  • Has a pocket clip
  • Costs 1/5 as much
  • Isn’t sold by a scammer

Ridiculous claims

The value of your purchase is what you think it is.  And scammers are always happy to help you think.

Weapons-grade laser  8DDDD

  • Secondary scammer NationLife boasts “Attach to your pistol or rifle to maintain a perfect aim.”  But they don’t provide a way to attach it.
  • “Blinds invaders!” Shadowhawk assures us of this “self-defense” laser.  My guess is the invader either wouldn’t notice it, or would collapse in laughter, wipe the tears out of his eyes, and take your laser too.  Wikipedia says, “Studies have found that even low-power laser beams of not more than 5 mW can cause permanent retinal damage if gazed at for several seconds; however, the eye’s blink reflex makes this highly unlikely.”
  • NationLife says, “Nowadays it is very important to carry a Tactical Laser due to natural disasters, and terrorism.”  You never know when you might need to give a PowerPoint talk during an earthquake, or take down a hijacker by setting his carefully-positioned match on fire.
  • Galleon screams “Super strong, burns everything!”  If this were true, it might be a disadvantage.

Other silly claims  8DDDD

  • Nighthawk boasts, “We have the most powerful and brightest laser available in the world and still within legal US regulations.”  This is true in a twisted way; the feds have set a 5 mw limit for laser pointers (not laser weapons).  But it’s a good line to use on your friends.
  • Shadowhawk touts “Aircraft aluminum.”  This is the same metal that beer cans are made of.
  • NationLife points out the laser’s utility for teasing cats, pointing out stars and entertaining children.  How strange to read true stuff on such a web site.

Chicanery

Ultrabeam has found a new way to make their Terms and Conditions even more obscure; the Stealth Display:

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.26.03 PM

A second layer of obfuscation is that nearly all the Terms document is about legal services(?), not lasers.  This flak conceals the worst terms I’ve ever seen:

  • You can only return an item within 10 days of your order date (not the date you received it)
  • You can only return an unopened item
  • We charge a $35 per item restocking fee (over half the cost of the laser)

Oddly, Ultrabeam’s privacy policy is pretty good.

Bottom line

Steer clear of Shadowhawk and their slimy ilk.

Those weapons claims … ROTFLMAO!  But if you’re looking for a presentation pointer, cat-teaser or kid-pleaser, the LaserPointerPro is good.  Also there’s eBay.

Clawed by Shadowhawk Flashlights

A product by itself is not a scam.

A scam is the combination of a product (that may or may not be good) and a crooked seller. You may find the same product offered by a reputable retailer such as Amazon.  Buy it there to avoid getting your credit card slimed.  Of course, the product will be no different.

scamometer.png

Final score; -7

Now let’s talk about Shadowhawk Flashlights using the Scam-O-Meter score-card, and see what kind of deal the X800 tactical flashlight is if you buy it from them. The website I’m looking at is entitled “Practical Survival Guide,” and in smaller letters, “Advertisement.” I’m providing a red link, which means click it at your peril.  If you do, try clicking your browser’s back button. On my Safari browser, Shadowhawk has disabled this button. It’s like “Don’t go!  We don’t have your money yet!”  The only escape is to close the tab.  This expose by Mark Wing is also disturbing.

Ridiculous claims: Shadowhawk Flashlights says that, due to the rise in terrorism, all the smart people who are afraid of guns are buying tactical flashlights. “We had to open up a second factory just to keep up with the massive amounts of orders coming in.”  (Like a business with two factories would operate out of a mailbox.)  If this light were to shine into your eyes, “You wouldn’t be able to see a thing, and would most likely lose your sense of balance.”  This is just the kind of light that’s used by uniformed rescue services and the police.  The box the light comes in is even shaped like a handgun case.  You might not even need the light; you could frighten away an attacker just by showing him the box!

A disclaimer in small print at the bottom of the page disavows everything they’ve said. -1

Post Office box: Shadowhawk gives two addresses. Neither is what I’d call a “bricks and mortar” flashlight store. -1

  • Corporate address: 7582 Las Vegas Blvd. S #115-405, Las Vegas, NV 89123.
  • Returns address: 7875 Highlands Village Place, Suite B102 #401, San Diego, CA 92129.

Onerous terms: The Terms and Conditions are a blizzard of text, though mild compared to several I’ve seen.

  • You can’t sue them, or join a class action that’s suing them.
  • They’ll take your money now; but they won’t “accept” your order until they ship it.
  • A refund is available up to 30 days after you receive the merchandise.
  • Reversing their charge on your credit card is theft.
  • They don’t guarantee that their products are suitable for any use; nor that anything they say is true.

The T&C seems directed more at possible imitators of Shadowhawk than at its customers.  0

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-8-20-50-pmInvasion of privacy: Shadowhawk’s Privacy Policy basically says:

  • They’ll use the personal information you give them and that they suck out of your browser to beam ads at you.
  • They’ll share it with other companies that will do the same.
  • If they sell their company, your personal information will be part of the deal.
  • You can opt out by sending them an email. -1

9/20/16 update: A reader reports that Shadowhawk will telephone you and try to pressure you into buying more stuff.

Lying and deception: Not responding to its customers makes Shadowhawk’s T&Cs and published business hours into empty gestures.  One customer posted,

Is this a scam or should I just wait a few week before contacting my credit card company. I tried emailing 5 times and tried calling and never get a repose nor do they answer their phone.  -1

Obfuscation: You have to click through two web pages to find out the price (from $56 for one flashlight to $29 for five). An animated countdown timer discourages comparison shopping. -1

Phony reviews: Shadowhawk’s own website masquerades as a review, and gets extra credit for broken English.

Upon receiving 4 Shadowhawk tactical flashlights, we could already tell by it’s packaging that these was a serious lights. They came in protective cases similar to a handgun. The light itself is small and sleek, with various zoom settings and the coveted “strobe mode” and “SOS” that every one loves.

I see lots of fake reviews on other sites like “Assistive Tech” and “Tactical Practical.”  They’re vague, wildly enthusiastic, say nothing about hands-on product testing, and have links to Shadowhawk’s online store that enable payola to flow the other way.   That’s an automatic -1

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-10-52-56-pm

The Better Business Bureau rates Shadowhawk “F” as of 1/18/17.

Crummy product: I see two “Shadowhawk X800” flashlights sold by Shadowhawk on Amazon. Strangely, they look different from the X800 on Shadowhawk’s website, and from each other.

  • This one with a case for $56 earned one-star reviews from 56% of Amazon’s 156 reviewers.  “I will keep the flashlights for my grand children to play with because the light is so poor it will not harm their eyes.”
  • Another with accessories for $53.89 got one star from 80% of 10 reviewers; “Shoddy … a sham … not nearly as bright as they say it is.”

With multiple products bearing the same brand name and model number, it’s hard to be sure what’s going on here.  But the online consensus is pretty bad.  -1

Overpriced: Amazon has lots of flashlights that claim to be 800 lumens for $9.99 and up.  Are those “tactical” zooming and blinking features worth an extra $30 or $40?  It doesn’t matter.  Here’s an 800-lumen flashlight that does both for $8.99.  It won five stars in 76% of 311 reviews. -1

Unauthorized charges: I found no complaints about this. +1

Bottom line

Even if you like the X800, it looks like shopping on Amazon has much to recommend it.

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