Eight fake shopping websites shut down following investigation

Goods ordered by Australian consumers did not turn up

Bogus shopping websites which used the identity of real businesses have been shut down following an investigation by Western Australia ScamNet.

Consumers in the state complained to the consumer watchdog after they had not received electronic goods ordered online. The items included iPads, iPhones and a camera which were below market prices. Consumers spent a total of $7000 on goods.

The websites only accepted payment by bank to bank transfer. According to WA ScamNet, the eight websites were set up by using the names of legitimate businesses which are either still operating or recently closed down.

The business owners confirmed that their trading names had been stolen and they had not registered the domain names being used in the scam.

The eight sites were:

  • Thefoneshop.com.au
  • Affordableappliances.com.au
  • Directcamerawarehouse.com.au
  • HDcameras.com.au
  • Xtremegopro.com.au
  • Totaltelevisions.com.au
  • Thelaptopfactory.com.au
  • Futuregaming.com.au

A WA ScamNet spokesman said that all the websites were identical in layout and style.

“The terms and conditions and frequently asked questions [FAQ] were also the same, indicating they may have been produced by the same person or group,” he said in a statement.

“Consumers should be wary if an online retailer offers goods well below market prices and doesn’t accept payment by credit card or PayPal. Be especially concerned if the site asks for payment by bank or wire transfer only.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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