LUX HD450 phone lens; I’m calling it a scam

spider-linkAfter dragging my clunky DSLR around on a vacation trip on which I used my iPhone 6 instead, I thought “Why doesn’t Apple forget about their goofy watches and make a serious camera instead?”  Then, on Facebook, I saw an ad for a set of lenses that clamp onto your “device” to turn it into a serious camera.

The ad linked to the manufacturer’s web page, which included an intriguing video.  But as I scrolled down, the first red flag went up; they want $29 for three lenses?

being a cautious pessimist, I wanted to see some reviews.  Googling “Lux HD450 review,” I found a lot of them.  Strangely, they were all on web sites I’ve never heard of.  They were without exception wildly enthusiastic, yet vague.  They all repeated the manufacturers’ claims, and none of them mentioned any tests or formal evaluations.  One of them used the same images as appeared in the manufacturer’s web page.  Another was in broken English.  theReviewNerd.com claimed that the lens gives your device X-ray vision, enabling it to photograph women naked thru their clothes.  Credulous people who want to harass women and who didn’t pass physics in high school might believe that one.

The same post quoted raves from three print publications, including linked images of their covers –Time, Digital Photographer and Digital SLR Photography.  These magazines are understandably close with their archives.  However, I determined that the Time cover image doesn’t correspond to any real Time cover published in August 2015.  Also, the post claimed that the quoted rave is from Time’s August 2015 issue–but Time is a weekly magazine.  Clicking on the cover image, I got “Error 400 / Campaign data was not completing when handling click or visit.”  Am I reading in Nigerian now?

I moved on to Amazon, which posts user reviews of products it carries.  But Amazon doesn’t carry the LUX HD450.  I checked some other sites I trust; Digital Photography Review, CNet and PC Magazine had no information about this super-lens.  Neither did Snopes.  Too bad; a good debunk would at least be entertaining.

Why so many rave reviews for such a dubious product?  Payola. The bottom of the original web page advises, “THIS PAGE COULD RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR CLICKS ON OR PURCHASE OF PRODUCTS FEATURED ON THIS SITE.”

If you try to order it, do you get anything at all?  Or do they just hack your credit card?  If anybody has had experience, good or bad, with the Lux HD450, please reply!  Thank you.


Related posts

Don’t Get Ripped Off;” A thorough take-down of these crummy lenses and their predatory marketer.

If you’re already a victim, here are some thoughts about getting your money back.


6/17/16 Call To Action: Originally I wrote “What seems to be going on here is click-farming.”  But the replies I’ve received testify to fraud and theft.  If you have a blog or a website, please make a link to these posts.  This will “google-bomb” HD450; then when people search on it, our critical information will appear higher up in the results than the fake reviews.  Also, please blog about it yourselves.  If you do, please send me the URL and I’ll put the link in my blog.  Also, we need an Instagram activist!  Thanks.


6/9/16 Update: Following my creation of a skeptics page, The LUX HD450 Fan Club Facebook page was taken down.  But pages advertising the lenses remain on Facebook.


5/26/16 Update: After Lee Duer (see replies) and I tried to post comments on the LUX HD450 “Fan Club” Facebook page only to see them deleted, I set up a Facebook page for HD50 skeptics.  Hope to see you there!

That fan club page lists an Instagram page as its website.  If someone who’s active in Instagram would set up a similar skeptics page there, it would be a public service.

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166 thoughts on “LUX HD450 phone lens; I’m calling it a scam

  1. Marion Gallagher

    I would suggest that anyone who was ripped off by this company report them to the BBB, and KEEP FIGHTING to get a refund. I dealt with a company like this a few years ago, and I believe that many of them make their money by people getting so frustrated with them that they give up and figure “Well, I learned my lesson – it could have been worse.” If nothing else works, explain to your credit card company what happened and have them issue you a new credit card. It’s a hassle, but at least you’ll know that these low-lifes won’t pop up somewhere down the road and charge you for something else.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Clip-on phone lens scammer HD360x switches shells | Web Scammer Jammer

  3. Duped

    I attempted to order. Reviews sounded great. My card was declined. Twice. Debit card with plenty of money to cover cost. So I gave up. Today I received a call from National City (619) 259-0800. The message stated the persons name and said “I see that your card was declined for the hd450, please give me a call so that I can assist you in this matter”. It is an obvious scam and I will be reporting to the BBB.

    Reply
  4. Sonda Giles

    How lucky can I be, tried to order it was on my Facebook page, when I tried several times to enter my phone #, a different number would be in the space. So like my daughter tells me review it. Glad I did Thanks for your blog

    Reply
  5. pattieone

    I just received mine in the mail today. Took some photographs with them and do what they say they do. I was unable to take macro with my Samsung GALAXY S5 and I have with three lenses. I received regular updating emails from the company and answers to my questions.

    Reply
    1. Ted B.

      Could you explain why you couldn’t take any pictures with the macro. Just wondered why some of them worked and that one didn’t.
      Thanks,
      Ted

      Reply
      1. pablovilas13 Post author

        Here is a link to my post about my tests of the lenses. I thought that the macro lens performed better than the wide-angle and fish-eye lenses. Even the macro lens has edge distortion. But it focused better overall than did the other two lenses. I think that if you like macro photography, and you choose subject matter that doesn’t emphasize the distortion, you may be satisfied with the results.

  6. Tricia

    Thank you I wads out to purchase one.. Do you know if any of these devices do work and help take better pics? Do you recommend any brands?

    Reply
    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      I’m not familiar with other brands of phone lenses. I suggest that you look on Amazon for products with good customer reviews. You might also consider a small camera. Few phone cameras give the results of a real one.

      Reply
    2. Lawrence Wolfe

      there is legitimate companies that make clip on lenses, just google it then make sure you research what products your interested in. you cant do to much research today.

      Reply
      1. pablovilas13 Post author

        Good advice. But look out for phony review sites. If you never heard of them, they’re wildly enthusiastic but don’t mention hands-on experience, and they have buttons and pictures that link to LUX HD450’s scam site, they’re shills. Look for reviewers you trust, like CNET. Or go to Amazon and read the product’s buyer reviews. If no known reviewers wrote about the product and it’s not on Amazon, best skip it.

  7. Anonymous

    I thought it was too good to be true. Price is very low. After reading your reviews here, I am going to take my time now.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    I fell for the scam. They owed me a credit for $89. Promised to appear on my CC in 3 to 5 days. After 10 days and no show I get the E-mail “We have attempted to issue the refund, however, the processing method used for the order has been closed, and there is no way to reverse the charge. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.”
    I told them to send me a check for all the good it will do. James Stevens

    Reply
    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      Quickly, call your card issuer, ask for the Fraud Dept. and ask them to reverse the charge. If they can’t, you’ll be no worse off than you are now. Also ask them to block the card and issue you a different one. Otherwise the thieves can go on helping themselves to your money.

      Reply
    2. Sandra Milligan

      I too, received (5) lenses and they took $145 off my MasterCard. There was no invoice or reciept in the large envelope that was mailed to me with the lens in it. Yesterday I tried returning them, and the Post Office told me the return address as not legitimate using the address: LUX HD 450. 2868 Delmar Heights #368. lUX HD 450. San Diego, CA. 92129 What address or phone number did you use to make contact with these people?

      Reply
      1. Douglas Pary

        if you google map the address pablovilas13 provided it is a shopping center and specifically maps says #368 is either a vitamin supplement store or “Primal Cuts” a gym. Coincidentally in that same building there is a “Postal Annex”. Could be a mail drop box?

      2. pablovilas13 Post author

        I’ve received a comment from somebody who lives in Del Mar. They went to the Postal Annex and spoke to the people there, confirming that it is LUX HD450’s address. See this.

      3. Anonymous

        The phone number is 1-844-220-5101… Good luck with them, I’ve been trying for a refund since August…………… Unfortunately I fell for it too….

    3. Anonymous

      Call credit card company and start a dispute. They will hold payment. You probably have to fill out paperwork the credit card company sends you in mail.

      Reply
  9. tiger

    remember the OLD saying…….IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE……IT PROBABLY IS. especially if it is advertised on face book.

    Reply
  10. Bea

    It’s a scam. I just received mine. No instructions…No receipt for return. I went on the website and sent them an email. Apparently they don’t have a process for returning funds. Tell everyone not to buy this!

    Reply
  11. Luana Daniels

    Sadly, I did not do my research before ordering these! Not only do I have five lenses that I cannot use (was going to gift them to family also), but they refuse to refund my money because it is more than 30 days past order, although it is less than 30 days since receipt. VERY POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE POLICY!!!

    Reply
    1. pattieone

      Why cant you use them?
      I took photos on my phone with them and they seem fine. I also ended up with 5 sets of them but when I questioned them I got a substantial discount. I think that a scam takes your money and doesn’t deliver any goods. I did receive the lenses and they are easy to use and appear to do what the advertising said. The company also communicated with me via email.

      Reply
  12. Anonymous

    I had to contact them three times I finally received the lens..we wil see if they are as good as they say they are/

    Reply
  13. Phillip Messinger

    I’m a retired commercial photographer. I saw the ad for these lenses and knew their claims were impossible. Comparing their cheap lenses to Nikon, Canon, Leica is blatantly outrageous! The examples they show are just fraud. I’ve yet to see any clip-on lens for a smartphone that can compare or compete with any of the lenses from those manufacturers. The best you can hope for from a phone is an app that will zoom in or out digitally to approximate a macro or telephoto. I use a free app called Magnifier that does quite well, but still requires use of a tripod as do most macros or longer zooms.

    Reply
  14. C. Burton

    OK.. I admit I sometimes fall for cut rate items. I ordered 3, get two free, @ $29 each. My card was charged for $145 !! That means they charged the $29 each for all five !! I sent an immediate eMail to cancel the order and told them it was False Advertising and marketing!! Called my Credit Card supplier/issuer and was told that the “Base address is in the UK”, so perhaps it was a difference in USD to UK Pounds. The 800 toll free call number wasn’t answered. I’m now waiting to see if the order is cancelled by the Lux company.

    Reply
    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      Keep after them and don’t put up with delays. Other customers report being tricked into waiting past the 30 day deadline to ask for a refund. That’s 30 days from your order date, not the date your goods arrive; read the Terms and Conditions. Another reason to keep after them is that once you get the product, your card issuer is less likely to agree to reverse the charge.

      Reply
  15. lam712

    attorneDo NOT BUY! I placed an order for 1 lense. They charged me for 5! They cannot cancel the order on their end, BUT neither can they ship the items for, at least, 3 more weeks. I have to pay to ship back items I DID NOT ORDER! They kindly offered to either refund 1/2 of the money they mistakenly charged me & allowed me to keep all items – whenever they do get here. OR, I can wait until they ship all items I DIDN’T order & then they make ME pay to return to them. Can anyone else say “Illegal scam?” I’m speaking to an attorney & filed a complaint with the FTC.

    Reply
    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      They can cancel, they just don’t want to. Tell them it’s cancelled and have your card issuer reverse the charge quickly, before they can ship anything. Once they’ve shipped, your card issuer may refuse to reverse it. Don’t be impressed by their offer to let you keep the lenses; they’re junk. Good luck!

      Reply
  16. Jim De Stael

    I’m glad you posted this. I am a gadget freak and almost jumped on it. I checked Amazon for this product and it is available from Amazon now (10/15/2016). I may give it a try anyway since Amazon’s price is only $11.99 and free shipping with Amazon Prime (probably minimal otherwise).

    Reply
  17. Skeptical First

    Thank you for taking the time to research this. I was skeptical when I researched the product and reviews too.

    Reply
  18. Pingback: LUX HD450 phone lens; I’m calling it a scam | mattfrederick blog

  19. Robert McGowan

    My five-unit shipment just arrived. Like other reviewers, I didn’t do my due diligence. Want to hear from more buyers who have actually used the lenses.

    Reply
  20. Terri B.

    Thank you so much for all this information. I nearly bought 3 sets as well. I did call the phone number first, and the accent on the other end was India. I have a gut feeling these “ads” are just scams to get not only your money, but any information they can get off Facebook from your account. Ive gotten several phone calls with that same accent. One was from “IRS”, wanting you to pay up, the other 2 were with the same accent, saying they were from “the United States Grant dept.”, and that I am getting an award for how I have taken such good care of my finances. The department will send me 7000.00,-9000.00 dollars as an award. Then they tell you how to get that money sent to you. Buy a green card and put money on it and they money will be sent. So people, don’t order off line until you’ve spoken to customer service on the phone. If you hear that accent, and too good to be true, leave it alone. Time for our most secret services to come down on these rip offs online.

    Reply
  21. Diane

    I tried ordering the “$29.99” lenses through an ad on Instagram two days ago. However, when I hit the “order” button I received a message “Do Not Honor” (twice). I wasn’t sure why and I thought it was a sign (and in the back of my mind I thought maybe they just wanted to hack my credit card?. I went grocery shopping that same day but my card was rejected. I called my credit card company to find out what was going on. They asked if I tried making a “$145.00” purchase from that company because the transaction was flagged as a possible fraudulent transaction. I told her that was my transaction but the wrong amount. 😡

    Reply
  22. Pat overheat

    Thank you. I was about to order one for my husband for Christmas. The ad reminded me of a cell phone charger I had offered earlier this year.same thing. Took months to get it. Then it didn’t work. Thankfully my credit card removed it from my charges. Thank you for your warning

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    i just ordered this product and to my amazement i was charged $ 79.00 instead of the $ 29.00 advertised. It is so sad that people take advantage of others that rely on their good will. God will not bless this group or individual that is scamming.It also hurt other legitimate online sales. I will now refrain from purchasing anything online. Don’t buy this product online.wait until it come to the stores and you can see what you are buying.SCAM,SCAM,SCAM.

    Reply
  24. Christen Hawkins

    I ordered a set and have been moderately happy. I realize that they are not terribly powerful, but it’s given me some expansion on my abilities to take photos. The zoom is only 1X, so it doesn’t do what I’d like, but the method is fine with clip on. I figured I’d practice and then move up. I didn’t think it was a scam, just that I want more power.

    Reply
  25. Peyton Jones Guillory

    I called to return because my phone takes better pics WITHOUT this lens…i was told it was past 3 days….yes 3….i had to ask several times 3 days really…no refund…dont fall for it people..this company is a rip off

    Reply
    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      LUX’s Terms and Conditions say you have 30 days to request a refund, counting from the date of your order. If they are out of stock and backorder it, or they sent it and it’s on a UPS conveyor belt somewhere, or they’re just slow, those events shorten your effective refund request time. The more delay, the more money they get to keep. No legitimate business would deny you a refund three days after you received your order.

      Reply
  26. Stephanie Kelly

    I ordered lenses and upon discovering that they don’t work, I returned them but I am out $145. How can I pursue a refund?

    Reply
  27. Rick

    I purchased the LuxHd450 5 in 1 universal clip lens set from someone off of ebay. It sold for $37.95. The kit says it comes with 5 lenses (wide angle, extra wide angle, zoom, macro and fisheye). When it arrived I could not find the macro lens. It was not included in the kit. So this was a lie. I was never able to check out the macro lens at all since it wasn’t included. As for the zoom lens it say right on it that it is 2X (not 8-12X as advertised). Another lie. To make matters worse the lens does not even zoom in 2X. All you get is the image that you are looking at if the lens was never attached. The zoom factor comes strictly from the phone itself, and not the zoom lens. So this zoom lens sucks, it is useless, and is not worth the money. Of all the lens I could check out (wide angle, extra wide angle, and fisheye) they seem to work out fine as far as I can see.

    So my review of this lens camera kit is that the company that sells the lens does not live up to their claims and in many cases lies to the public as the kit is not all that it is cracked up to be.

    Reply
  28. Ed

    Thank you,when something sounds too good to be true, I always look for unbiased reviews. Not sure I would have bought the item, but after reading your review I am definitely not buying. Folks buy from a major website or store it is the best way to protect yourself from scam artists like these. instead of guarding the borders with a wall, Congress should write consumer tough protection laws. And the executive branch should enforce the laws with vigor.

    Reply
  29. Todd Symborski

    I got the lens in yesterday, straight up 12x, no zoom, only focus. Pictures suck, looks you are holding your camera up to a spotting scope giving it a tunnel vision effect.

    Reply
  30. Heinz Lyner

    I ordered once (1x) Flux HD Zoom High Performance Lens at $29.95, there was no information about sales tax and shipping in the whole order process, and I have now got 4 (four) confirmations:
    I didn’t order any membership in any club and now I have 2 x USD 46,85 charged on my credit card!

    Support is not reacting anymore!

    Reply
    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      Have your credit card issuer reverse the charge. Block your credit card and get a new one. Yes it’s painful, but it’s the only sure way to get free of the thieves.

      Reply
    2. wally

      Like me! Now I ‘ve the membership that I’ve never order and now I must to pay every mounth and I’ve just payed $8,95. This is fraudolend , is impossible to cancelled the membership and the support is inexistence …I advise you to suspend your credit card

      Reply
  31. Timothy

    It was a piece of junk….I returned it to them with a Ref. # and maul tracking link that verified the have receives the returned item…yet, 3 weeks later, I haven’t heard a word from them Yes, their ‘Company’ in Del Mar, Ca which is 45min from where i live….is a USPS box! All calls placed ro the ‘office’ is outsourced to India…it is a lost cause!
    It is a fraud……!!

    Reply
  32. kramd1

    Nathan has built an empire of credit card details. He has your credit card details and will continue ( without conscience ) to steal your money . This guy will not stop . message his Facebook page ( and all his friends ) . That’s the only way I got a response.
    https://www.facebook.com/nathanm55

    Reply

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