13 October 2008
Individuals or small business owners - However this is the Small Business Version
The Initial Contact:
Normally a Telephone call, but could also be an email
A customised website for 30 or 60 days free of charge. After the introductory period, a monthly fee of $25-$70 will apply. Sometimes victims are told that they will be automatically billed after the 30 days is up. Other times victims are told that they won't be billed unless they authorise the continuation of the service.
What actually Happens:
Regardless of what is said during the call, the victims are automatically being billed for this 'service' whether they authorise it or not. The scammer company will usally will register a domain name in their name thats your business name in their name.
What do You Get:
This scam would be slightly less distasteful if you in fact received something of value for your money. However, the websites that are constructed are usually poorly done, full of errors and misspellings... and essentially useless to your business. - so basically a bad representation of your business the only good point is that hopefully no one even knows you have web site. You may be held to ransom on your domain name, this may make you think you need to stay with the company especially in the early months.
Response from the Scammer:
Not answering phone - left messages and they did not respond
Response from Fair Trading:
Do Not pay the bill as it was not authorised by you, and if you did authorise it, still donít pay the bill until you get what would be classed as standard for industry work quality and you are happy with the results. Pass all demands etc on to Fair Trading.
You normally cant stop the payments,as the scammer wont acknowledge any contact. so you may have to cancel the payments through your credit Card Provider or worse case scenario you may have to cancel the creditcard.