/ Technology

Scam watch: fake tech website

buying tech online

A member told us how they ordered a TV from a tech website, only to be told that the payment had failed. They were then asked to pay by bank transfer or provide two forms of ID. Fortunately, the member smelt a rat…

The member emailed us to tell their story.

‘I ordered a TV online but received no email confirmation, so I contacted the company’s customer services. It said my card had been declined and advised me to contact my bank.

‘After my bank explained that no transaction had been attempted, the company claimed that the failed payment was due to its strict anti-fraud measures.

‘I refused to pay via bank transfer when asked, and was then told I could bypass these fraud controls by providing two forms of ID with proof of address. I sent copies of my driving licence and a bank statement with all other details removed.

Hours later, the company cancelled my order, so I bought the TV elsewhere.’

Our say on dodgy tech sites

We’ve seen similar cases where customers have been talked into paying by bank transfer, only for the goods to never arrive. These shady websites typically price goods slightly below their competitors to tempt customers without raising major suspicions. Often, they steal a legitimate retailer’s details from Companies House.

The member also told us about this company’s attempts to commit identity fraud using the personal details they provided.

The website has now been shut down, although we imagine it will reappear under a new domain.

Thankfully, the member got a TV without losing money. They also contacted Action Fraud and cancelled their credit card.

Always bear in mind that a reputable company will never ask you to pay by bank transfer.

Have you come across a dodgy tech site? What happened when you attempted to buy something from it?


The crooks are becoming increasingly devious. This is one reason why, despite what many say about it, Amazon still offers a predictably reliable and secure trading environment. I feel sorry, however, for newcomers to the world of online retailing, since becoming trusted is by no means as easy as it perhaps once was.

I question your comment “Always bear in mind that a reputable company will never ask you to pay by bank transfer.”
It is a convenient, quick and often cheaper way to pay for goods – provided you know of the company.
I would have reservations if bank transfer were the only payment method offered.

Luckily I have plenty of protection from fake /scam websites , everything is challenged -its certificate , all it s URL,s and a host of other tracking protectors . I have screen blocking on malware domains etc . Check to see if the outgoing link has an affiliate tracking code, sometimes cloaked through re-directs which will just look like a internal link to another page -disable automatic re-direction to see the full affiliate link . They may be running a GeoIP script to determine your location and make themselves look local . Use HTTPS at all times /No Script /etc , look out for any wording after the .com -IE- .com.example.com -is fake . example.com / is correct –example.fakeurlgoeshere.com is invalid . If you want to be safe and cant install those technical apps then head to ;https://www.scamadviser.com/check-website want a laugh ?? it only gives Which a 67 % Caution ! plus somebody doesn’t like you in the USA Which red triangle and exclamation mark – this site has been given negative feedback . I realise why of coarse but I will not put Which down too faithful to it. It obviously works so use it to check others I inputted a known malware website and it came back as very bad/high risk etc. says Which website is slow -value of website approx $233,000 , a malware report has been detected for this website plus the USA has dominance on it , UK second and that it spreads itself about , if you know what I mean, doesn’t bother me. Having said all that Which is still doing a grand job on many websites I visit great publicity machine , advertising execs. might be headhunted ?

There’s an excellent Git Hub addon for Firefox which forces Google to reveal the true URL of a site whenever it’s returning a search query. https://github.com/palant/searchlinkfix

Ian its much easier to install if you click the 3 horizonal bars in FF >click >addons>click>getaddons> input in search box Google Search link fix >install it . Worked first time in FF BUT be aware -this extension cannot recover links after they have been modified -wont work if Javascript has been disabled also Google will produce modified links from the START rather than changing them when you click on the link. Install Clean Links – which I have used for a long while , for some obscure reason ( too good ) this add on is not available direct on FF add-ons but has been archived nevertheless archive web-page capture is : https://archive.fo/nWVir if link does not work input >clean links –DONT download from Cnet/download.com etc .

bishbut says:
25 July 2017

Many people want to do everything as quickly as they can these days so that they never ever stop to think at all ,give everything some thought before you do anything .How many people realise later that they have fallen for a scam ? Bank transfer is OK it you know the people you are sending the money to but beware money sent by this method is impossible to get back if you have sent it to a wrong person Think very carefully about what or where you are sending any money THINK and use your common sense if you have any its hard to find these days in any one Computers do not have any at all

christine says:
1 August 2017

Just found email in spam box says its from hmrc saying that they owe me money has anyone else had this kind of email not sure what to do.

christine says:
1 August 2017

Had an email in my spam box says its hmrc saying they owe me a refund can this b a scam.

Christine, have a look at this page:

There is an email address to forward suspicious emails to.

HMRC also state HMRC never send notifications of a tax rebate or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email or text message.