A reader from the UK sent a note today asking if she'd been scammed by a fly by night site selling knock off Tiffany's she paid for, but never received. Her note, below, sounded panicked:
i recently bought jewlery from a cheap tiffany website i have not recieved it for weeks and they dont have a contact number and wont reply to my emails. i spent about 2oo pounds and i dont know what to do?
What you do is call your card company and make sure that there haven't been any fraudulent charges on the account you purchased the fake jewels with. Get your bank to read back charges going back to the minute you hit the submit button at the fake Tiffany's site. If there's anything suspicious on that card, close the account and sick the bank investigator on the questionable charges.
There are millions of malicious Websites out there these days, according to reports by Websense, Panda, Symantec and others. They set up quickly, sell knock off Rolex or medicines and just as quickly go away. Reports also state that malicious Web sites are now getting more people's computers sick with malware than e-mail does.
That means, in addition to giving her account information to what amounts to a total stranger selling fake Tiffany's out of the back of his van in an alley, she also might have picked up a keylogger or other code that's just as nasty.
If she paid by PayPal, then she's safe from financial fraud against her account. But she's out the 200 pounds she spent there. A good lesson, I hope.