The number of fake sites to look out for is growing. Setting up a website is faster, easier and cheaper than ever before. Pictures and text can be automatically ‘scraped’ from a legit website to make a fake site in minutes.
Phishing is the name for the kind of scam that rip-off copy sites are pulling. They look on the surface like a real shop website and they are trying to get you to take the bait and give them your bank details or personal information, so they can take your money or sell your details to another criminal. They are quick and easy to set up (if one fails, make another) so a scam site only has to rob one or two people to profit, then it can be abandoned without trace.
Is the offer too good to be true?
Found a very low price for the PFD or jacket you want? Anything lower than the average price should give you pause to wonder why. A retailer may be selling off the last of their old stock to make room for new models, but then you’d expect most of the popular sizes or colours to be sold out already. Retailers with real shops, staff and good customer service have similar costs to cover and selling for less than the recommended retail price comes straight out of their profit.
Is their offer even realistic? We saw scam sites that will let you order quantities in the hundreds of any size or colour (they haven’t bothered to fake a stock system) … shops will never have unlimited stock. A shop that has everything on sale, all the time? That’s going to raise suspicions.
OK now I’m suspicious … a second look
Don’t be pressured into making a purchase now. It’s always good to sleep on it and be sure of making a purchase you’ll really value. Take a moment to look around the site and at some other online shops’ offers (you might prefer the service or shipping one can offer over the price alone).
Is this a Palm website?
Our websites are:
Any other website name is not Palm official. And we sell only VE Paddles direct to you online, everything else Palm is sold through your local paddlesport shops.
Where can I find Palm stockists?
All our approved stockists can be found on the Palm Equipment shop finder map palmequipmenteurope.com/shop-finder. Some stockists may have multiple locations and warehouses, but if they are on this list, they are real shops with real Palm goods to sell. We don’t sell goods to online only businesses, they will all have a shopfront you can visit.
Four signs a shop isn’t real
- What’s their address? Let’s check Google Maps … does the pin on the map show a launderette or DIY warehouse? If their kayak shop name doesn’t show up on the Google map, it’s most likely fake. Does the address match a shop on our online shopfinder?
- Every UK and EU online business has to show somewhere on their website:
- the company’s registered number
- the address of the company’s registered office
- if not a registered company (a sole trader or partnership) the proprietor or partners name and address details must be fully disclosed to customers on the website
- Does their telephone number work? Do you want to order from a paddlesport shop that doesn’t answer the phone?
- Do they have social media accounts with recent activity? (Not everyone will have social media, but an active Instagram account can tell you a lot.)
I’ve found a scam site, what should I do?
Report the site to us and we’ll do our best to get it blocked … firstname.lastname@example.org
The UK government cyber security service is here. You can also report a phishing scam site to Google and Microsoft.
I paid online and I think I was scammed!
Here’s some advice from the UK Citizen’s Advice Bureau. In particular:
- If you transferred money to the scammer in the last twenty-four hours – tell the police immediately by calling 101 (UK).
- Contact your bank immediately so they can protect your account. After you’ve told your bank about the scam, keep an eye on your bank statements and look out for any unusual transactions.
- Change your password as soon as possible. If you’ve used the same password on any other accounts you should change it there too.
- If you’ve lost money because of a scam, there might be things you can do to get it back. Check with your bank or national advice service.