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How to spot website scams

I cannot beleve we fell for this, but I was in a rush and I wanted to buy some UGG boots as a gift. The website looked authentic enough and even had reviews from satisfied customers. However, when the boots arrived complete with the UGG logo on the heel, they instantly felt too light to be sheepskin which made us take a closer look. Turns out they were synthetic and completely fake. They even came with a care booklet that had an UGG original hologram sticker on it! Phishing-Scam

When we tried to contact the seller to return them and get our money back, surprise surprise, there was just an email address and the answer was no refunds. There was no actual company name or geographical address. How could I as a lawyer have overlooked that when it is the first thing I tell my clients to put on their websites?? I could have kicked myself. This is a LEGAL requirement precisely in order to avoid the situation I am in.

On contacting the post office to see who the sender was, again they had clearly covered up their tracks and there was no address. So it looks like we may have lost our money although Trading Standards are looking into the matter.

So what can you look out for?

  1. The website address: this is unusually long. For example the fake one is www.uggbootsoriginals.com.au  whereas the original one is www.uggaustralia.co.uk.
  2. Contact details: if there are none, don’t go near the site! By law there should be a full postal address.
  3. Website language: is the language good English or slightly odd or as if written by someone for whom English is a second language? You would not expect this from an English speaking company
  4. Legal terms & conditions: by law a website should have a Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions of sale which at the very least should point out your legal right to return the goods under the Distance Selling Regulations.

And what can you do?

If you are lucky enought to have paid by credit card, then you may get your money back via the credit card company. If you pay by debit card, then that is not possible.

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