Chicago student's bank account in the negative after buying shirt off Facebook

A college student got ripped off by a company she found on social media.

Now, she's sharing her story to help warn others.

Tiffany Payton is a busy freshman at Harold Washington College. She's also close with her family, and when her mom asked for a shirt for her birthday in November, Payton jumped at the chance to buy it.

Her mom sent a link to the Facebook ad for the shirt in a group family text.

“The ad basically took us to a website to order the t-shirts,” Payton said. That website was haolastore.com. 

Payton says she picked the size, entered her debit card to pay the $30 bucks for the shirt and checked out. She waited the 5-to-10 business days for the shirt.

“They took money out of my account, I didn't receive anything,” she said.

To add insult to injury, the website doesn’t even exist anymore.

Payton says she continued to reach out to the company.

“I emailed them relentlessly, and I did not get anything back,” Payton said.

FOX 32 also reached to the company, but haven't heard back.

“As a college student, I don't have much money, so I was pretty hurt that I wasn't able to give my mom something as little as a shirt,” Payton said.

But Payton still wanted to reach out to let others know, to be careful.

“I reached out to FOX 32 because I just want to bring awareness to other consumers. I don't want them to just see an ad and hurry up and order,” she said.

FOX 32 also reached out to Facebook, which encourages users to report scams, spams and any fraudulent businesses directly on the site.

Meanwhile, Payton is left without her money or the shirt. 

“They took it and ran. My account is still negative, I still have late fees,” she said.

Because of our report, Facebook has since removed the page.

Consumer experts say to vet any company before paying and use a credit card when you make purchases online - you have more protections that way.

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