Online clothing store scandal takes new turnFeature of the week
The craftiest criminals are the ones that blend in with everyone else. Passwords being stolen is a common occurrence, yet there other subtle ways that online thieves can operate. A store named Halo Boutique which sold women’s clothing on the internet, was recently exposed to be a scam and consequently shut down. The site, which was based in New Zealand, was hugely popular because of the great brands at low prices. Before long, conned customers started to realise what was occurring when money was taken, but items were never received and any complaints were ignored by the company.
Amanda Lewis was one customer in the city of Auckland who paid for an item that she never received. “I tried to contact them via Facebook, email and phone but they never replied,” she said. “I then commented on each of the photos on their Facebook pages warning people not to buy from them and every comment was removed and I was blocked from the page so I can no longer comment.”
Similarly, other consumers were also duped by an online clothing site named DollHouse Lingerie, that is reported to contain exactly the same merchandise and prices as Halo Boutique. “After visiting their website I knew it was a scam but unfortunately had already paid for the bathers and just accepted my money was lost,” said another unfortunate customer.
However, new details have recently been unveiled that shed new light upon the scandal. A woman named Charlotte Wilson has been accused as the mastermind behind the scam websites – yet claims she knew nothing of what happened and that she’s a victim of identity fraud. Wilson says that the scammers used her personal details, such as home address, email, and phone number, to set up the websites and act as an owner. “They (the domain providers) confirmed it was my address with my full name and address and date of birth,” she said. “The IP address said it was coming from overseas somewhere. How would they even get my information? I don’t want any trouble out of it. I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Scammers can use many tricks to hide their true guise, yet shoppers can look out for a few signs. For one, the lock symbol in the top left corner of the browser means the website has a secure SSL Certificate that comes from providers like 1&1 with help from GeoTrust. Read more tips here about learning how to spot fake retail websites.
The editorial unit