/ 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.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

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

This comment was removed at the request of the user

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.