If You Were Tricked By A Fake Regalis Foods Facebook Ad, You're Not Alone

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It's easy to understand how it plays out. You read an article about must-try luxe food indulgences, and you're dying to try some spendy treat like Japanese Wagyu beef or Spanish Ibérico Jamón. Then you're looking at cute pictures of your friend's dog, and a Facebook ad for Wagyu pops up with an irresistibly low price. You click, you pay, and you realize that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Eater explains it was in January of 2022 that fake Facebook ads and websites purporting to be from the gourmet go-to Regalis Foods began appearing. They looked just like the real thing, with images and text ripped directly from the real Regalis Foods site. Luxury foods like Maine lobster tails were offered at unheard-of prices, and buyers fell for the scam. Yelp reviews since the scam started show five angry customers that left scathing statements, but as it turns out they're not the only victims.

How many people were scammed by the fake ad?

Since January 2022, according to Eater, the exact same thing has happened to more than 1,000 people. Regalis Foods founder and owner, Ian Purkayastha laments that would-be customers have spent more than $200,000 with online scammers posing as his luxury food business. Having successfully survived the pandemic by pivoting from solely supplying restaurants with his exotic wares, Purkayastha is frustrated by the effects of this scam on both the victims, who thought they were buying cheap lobster tails, and also on his business. He explains, "The reviews are very brand-damaging."

Purkayastha is rightfully angry about the scammers posing as Regalis Foods. He calls them "a pox on the internet" and has even offered genuine Regalis gift certificates to some victims of the scam. The customers leaving profanity-laden threats on the company's voicemail likely don't realize that Purkayastha actually has a stellar reputation in the food biz. Whether he's explaining the best method for grating genuine wasabi or telling childhood tales in his book, "Truffle Boy," Purkayastha is the real deal, even if the criminals who stole from would-be customers aren't.