In the buyer beware department comes this note from our friends at Scott Bikes. They claim that fake online stores have been sweeping social media channels such as Facebook recently with increased intensity, promising discounts beyond 80% on a broad variety of Scott bikes. Sponsored ads lure potential customers to several fake shops, offering “too good to be true” deals. End consumers who place orders and make payments on these fraudulent websites will never receive the ordered goods.
Scott has been suing frauds for many years, but has undertaken a more intense legal action plan against providers of several domains now.
“As an innovative brand, Scott is facing legal issues with product piracy and fake suppliers since quite a time,” says Reto Aeschbacher, Scott brand director. “This is not something which is new at all. What is new indeed is the emerging number of well-organized online fake shops with criminal intent to lure consumers to fraudulent websites which look quite authentic at first sight.”
Despite the fact that Scott says it is constantly chasing fake accounts, the frauds open new domains every week by simply changing URLs but keeping the website layouts and designs the same. This creates a flood of additional fraudulent websites.
How can consumers detect a fraudulent website? Ridiculously low prices for Scott (or other premium brand) bikes of up to 90% and cheaper are one obvious indication for a fake website. Furthermore, no distinction is made on such sites between bike models. In addition to that, a higher selling price is then crossed out quite often to emphasize the massively low price.
“Scott would like to point out that it can only guarantee the originality of its products purchased through an official Scott dealer,” they said. “Therefore, Scott recommends consumers to verify the origin of the products and reliability of the respective online supplier beforehand.