Description of Avoid From These Online Shops: They Sell E-bikes That Don't Even Exist
The e-bike market is booming, and due to the pandemic, many buy their new bikes online. But with this, fraudsters have also recognized that there is money to be made here - above all from the bargain hunters who want to get their new e-bike at a particularly low price. The perpetrators open fake shops and display an enormous amount of criminal energy, as in our current case. EFAHRER.com advises where to avoid and how to expose a fake shop.
E-bikes are still the big hit in the second year of the Corona, bargains go like hotcakes at discounters like Aldi or Lidl, online shops can no longer keep up with deliveries, many models are out of stock. If you come across an e-bike as a price-conscious buyer, you can use Google to find out where you can get hold of the object of your desire particularly cheaply. Often unknown shops also advertise these bikes, sometimes cheaper than many other shops, but not suspiciously cheap. And that is exactly what the scammers do: The e-bike is offered on a perfectly designed website at a fair, but not ridiculously low price. As in our case:
Fake alarm: Prophets e-bike for 829 Euros
The popular Prophets e-bike was recently offered by Aldi for 999 Euros . In the shop www.ingbert-unruh.de it is even offered for 829 Euros. The mere fact that the shop clearly undercuts the Aldi price makes us suspicious.
Still, it's not a price that is completely unrealistic.
On the other hand, the shop looks very professional, there are all sorts of e-bikes on offer, even though it is actually a house wares shop, at least this is conveyed by the "Unruh Hausgeräte" logo.
The e-bike is well presented on the relevant page. Photos, facts and a well-worded text in perfect German describe the e-bike. Only the product category "On discounts" sounds bumpy.
And last but not least, there are the usual social media buttons to share the article with your contacts on Facebook, Pinterest and Co. Only Instagram is missing.
Also strange: the prices are marked with "plus shipping costs". But if you click on this, you only get to the terms and conditions, which babble about "possible shipping costs".
Payment is made in advance
Let's take a look at the payment methods - these can be found at the bottom of the website: The symbols should make us suspicious: two bills, but no PayPal. The terms and conditions then say: "The consumer has the option of paying in advance, direct debit, purchase on account, bank transfer". But that is simply a lie. Because if you put the goods in the shopping cart and then want to go to the virtual checkout, it means that you will receive an email.
This actually states how things will proceed. Because you will be asked to make a transfer to a German account, i.e. to make an advance payment. At this point, at the latest, all your alarm bells should ring! Alternatively, fake shops also want the money by credit card, but then book a higher amount than the invoice amount. Once you have noticed the fraud, you need to claim the money back and block your credit card. That's why the following applies here too: hands off!
Anomalies in the imprint
Let's go a step further and check the imprint. A Wuppertal address is given there. If you search for it in Google Maps, you actually come to a plausible address and Google ratings that make sense. In this case it is a very perfidious trick of the fraudsters, because a telephone call reveals: The website is fake, but there is actually an electric balance. We speak personally to the owner Ingbert Unruh (whose name is misused by the fraudsters for the fake shop) - he has already warned masses of callers about this shop. "Up to 80 calls come in here every day," he sighs. In our research into fake shops, this identity theft is more of a new trend. Many fake shops are actually made up, but this case is extremely lousy, after all, this business actually does exist. On the one hand, this lulls bargain hunters into deceptive security and, on the other hand, damages the reputation of the real store. This is no longer an exception, however, as another electrical shop called Elektro-Hoffmann, also from Wuppertal, was also a victim of this scam.
This is why: If some of the online offerings seem Spanish to you, a phone call usually provides the ultimate certainty that this is a fake!
How to expose fake shops
With this checklist you can find out whether it is a fake shop or a reputable dealer.
• Are the prices below those of all other dealers? If so: healthy distrust is appropriate. In the case of unrealistic low prices, we can say right away: Fake alarm!
• Does the merchant's URL start with "https: //"? No? Fake alarm! But be careful: an https address is not a free ticket for seriousness.
• Does the URL not match the products, for example an alternative practitioner suddenly sells e-bikes? Now your alarm bells should ring: Fake alarm!
• Does the shop only offer payment options such as prepayment and credit card? Paypal is NOT included? Caution: fake alarm!
• Does the shop list an imprint with address and telephone number? If not: very safe fake alarm!
• Is there an imprint, check: Is the address of the imprint on Google Maps traceable and plausible? If not: fake alarm!
• Can you also reach an employee of the shop personally by phone? If not: fake alarm!
• Are there any experience reports on the shop via Google or Trustpilot? If not: fake alarm! Because then it is a recently programmed page that will likely disappear again soon.
• Does the shop have active profiles on Facebook and / or Instagram? If not: be careful, possible fake alarm
• Is the order button labeled: "Register", "Continue", "Order"? Fake alarm! Correct would be "" order subject to payment "," buy now "or" book subject to payment "
• Does the shop advertise with seals that are unknown to you? If so, you should be suspicious. These seals can be forged or made up. Google for these supposed seals. If you don't find anything: fake alarm!
• If you are advertising with seals from TÜV or Trusted Shops, click on the seal to check: If you are not redirected to a correct page of this seal provider: Fake alarm!
• If the shop advertises with allegedly completely satisfied customers (for example with five-star ratings): If so, you become suspicious. After all, not all customers are always 100% satisfied. Reviews on social media or on Google are better.
• Are the terms and conditions missing or are they written in bumpy German? If so: fake alarm! However, good German is no guarantee of seriousness.