Category: Website Scam

Shopify Fake Websites

Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company. It is also the name of its e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.

Shopify is used by over 600,000 businesses worldwide and is very easy to use and cheap so anyone, including scammers, can quickly setup an online shop.

But Shopify is attractive to scammers. e.g. My Pillow, which makes pillows, sheets and mattresses noticed that an unidentified scammer had used Shopify tools to set up a copy of mypillow.com called mypillowstore.com, which claimed to sell My Pillow products. My Pillow sued Shopify, alleging it supported trademark infringement. Shopify took down the site, but My Pillow demanded damages plus any money Shopify made running the bogus store.

Shopify says it has a team focused on identifying and taking down sites like the fake pillow store.

It’s very simple for a criminal to set up a fake online shop using Shopify software. Designing a store and uploading products is a very quick process and the payments and order processing are all handled by Shopify.

The Triangulation Scheme (exposed by Paul Bjerke of LexisNexis Risk Solutions.)

Scammers use Shopify or a similar service to quickly create sites selling mainstream products such as vacuum cleaners, then the fraudsters use details from previously stolen credit cards to buy the item from a real retail website and have it shipped to shoppers’ homes. Later on, the card payment networks reject the stolen credit card transaction and the real retailer gets what’s known as a chargeback, leaving it with no money for the product it sold. But the scammer still has the original consumers’ money, Bjerke explained.

Shopify say that market forces will weed out merchants using unsavoury tactics but that doesn’t help good companies such as MyPillow from being exploited by the scammers.

Shopify claims it has increased the team focused on merchant misbehaviour and responds to clear cases of copyright and trademark infringement. The company has also modified its software to highlight possible fraud and help shoppers and brands flag improprieties.

But there is a better answer. Rival BigCommerce says it stops fraudsters from starting to use its service. New merchants must pay upfront and prove they have real inventory before they can start selling.

“On other platforms, you can sign up for a free trial and you’re ready to go without paying effectively,” says the company’s chief product officer, Jimmy Duval. “Our approach provides a natural barrier for fraudsters.”

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Safe Secure Investments

The Mai on Sunday has been tracking a business called Safe Secure Investments and its sister company Direct Property Investments. They both offer what seem amazing returns – sometimes 14% in a year.

They make it seem that they are registered with the FSA but they aren’t.

That means that if anything goes wrong there is no redress through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and you cannot complain to the Financial Ombudsman service.

The Safe Secure Investments website seems to be offline currently but direct-property-investments is Live and looking for clients.

If you are planning to invest in shares or commodities or property etc. do take expert advice and do not trust websites.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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Stupidest Scam of the Week – Goose Parkas

Every so often, email adverts for Goose Parkas appear – usually in the winter but also in summertime which is ridiculous.

The ads claim the Parkas are extreme weather outerwear made in Canada since 1957 and there are Parkas, coats, shell jackets, bibs, pants, gloves, mittens and hats for sale.

But the key points are that all stock is 50% off plus free shipping and then 68% off the total price.

So that 50% discount then free shipping (assumed to be about 10% of cost) then 68% off means altogether the discount is about 85%.

So you end up paying about 15% of the real price.

Obviously any business that sells products at only 15% of the real price will be out of business very soon as that must  be a lot lower than the cost of making the clothes.

It’s all just fake as you can easily guess from the email address which claims to be ‘Parka’ but is actually cangoo @kjhfq.loan

It’s a scammer’s email address and the whole thing is bogus.

We all like bargains but be very careful buying bargains from anywhere you haven’t done business with.

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Amazon Fake Reviews

Amazon is the biggest eCommerce operation the world has ever seen with sales of $178 billion in 2017.

One of Amazon’s biggest sales promoters is the use of customer reviews.

If you’re going to buy something on Amazon but want to know what other people think of the product or service then you check the customer reviews and almost always they are genuine.

Amazon spend a lot of time and money ferreting out fake reviews and stopping any businesses that use or promote fake reviews and they say that more than 99% of reviews on its sites are authentic.

That doesn’t stop criminals and idiots trying to find ways around the rules of course.

Recently, organisations have been using Facebook to advertise free Amazon products in return for reviews.

The customer buys the item and is promised a full refund once they have posted a stellar review on Amazon.

It is against Facebook rules for their users to promote fake reviews, but as we all know, Facebook have trouble actually policing content on their platform.

One such Facebook group is “Amazon free product deals between reviewer and seller [UK only]” which is a closed group and describes its purpose as:-

We help Amazon UK sellers to boost up rankings via getting reviews through our gradually building reliable members.

To become a member, you need to commit to review the product with 5* within 5 days of “order”. If this is not done, you would be banned and would miss out from brilliant discounts offered!

That’s clear – you need to give top rating reviews or you are banned from the group.

That’s not how people expect customer reviews to work.

Stop cheating – as we all lose out from that.

If you do check Amazon reviews – make sure to read several and don’t be taken in by the first one your read.

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