Please don’t buy the foldable phone from Pablo Escobar’s brother. You’re almost certainly getting scammed.
By Michael Kan
Starting in February, a company from Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria has been dangling the promise of a $399 re-skinned Samsung Galaxy Fold. In response, media outlets and high-profile YouTubers ate up the news, covering the product as an amusing novelty. After all, who wouldn’t want a $1,980 product for a fraction of the price?
Well, it’s months later, and dozens of would-be customers, who forked over real money to own the illusive “Escobar Fold 2” product, say their orders never arrived.
“I think a lot of people genuinely bought this thinking it was guaranteed,” said one customer named Peter, who continues to wait for his phone.
The Escobar Fold 2, which is a Galaxy Fold covered in some gold foil.
The phone was supposed to arrive in March, according to Roberto’s company, Escobar Inc. The reason: The company claimed it was busy buying leftover Galaxy Fold units in China to sell to consumers at lower prices.
“There are huge, huge amounts of Fold 2 telephones available to us for purchase at a very low cost in Shenzhen, Mainland China,” CEO Olof Gustafsson told PCMag in February. “Our delivery partners have confirmed our access to easily over 200,000 units at an incredible per unit cost.”
Gustafsson said all this, despite evidence his business was a sham. Supply chain analysts also told PCMag it likely costs Samsung $650 to $675 to manufacture a single Galaxy Fold — which is significantly more than the $399 price Escobar Inc. has been advertising.
March has now passed, and to this day PCMag receives occasional emails from upset customers, who say their order never arrived.
“I communicate with them, but they never reply to my query!” wrote one reader. “It’s a big scam!”
“They never answered back at all. (I) lost 500 dollars,” wrote another.
The first Escobar Fold 1, which is a re-skinned FlexPai phone from Royole.
Some of the same customers have been waiting for their orders since December, when Escobar Inc. introduced its first handset product: a re-skinned foldable phone from Chinese vendor Royole. Escobar Inc. was somehow offering it for only $349 when it’s normal retail price was $1,291.
“I believe I am SCAMMED,” wrote one reader named Isaac, who supplied a copy of his order receipt from Dec. 9. “I contacted them more than five times, but no more response from them.”
To try and gauge how many customers may have been swindled, we took to Facebook, where there’s a group of Escobar Inc. customers who regularly post updates on their phone orders, and their attempts to get refunds. In a poll held by PCMag, over 70 members say they never received their orders from the company.
But that doesn’t mean no one received a phone from Escobar Inc. In February, the company distributed several re-skinned Galaxy Fold units to a number of high-profile YouTubers. And in return, the coverage attracted millions of views, translating into potential sales for Escobar Inc. More
LG Folder 2 Flip Phone$160.00
Motorola Razr 202O Blush Gold$1,499.00
TCL Tri-Fold Foldable Phone$1,499.00
LG V60 ThinQ™ 5G Dual Screen$1,100.00
TCL Foldable Phone$1,100.00
Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition$2,500.00
ROYOLE FlexPai 2$1,499.00
Huawei Mate XS$2,703.00
Microsoft Surface Duo$750.00
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip$1,380.00