To link or not to link (or: Do you promote possible fraudulent websites?)

26 July, 2007 (16:05) | Rants

A recent newsmessage on Dutch IT site caught my attention: it’s the story about a 150 dollar laptop, too cheap to be true. The editor writes about the specifications of the laptop, the software and the long time-to-delivery of 4 weeks. He concludes the story saying ‘it could be fake, but in that case you’ll only loose 150 dollars’.

Popular gadget blog, Crave (by c|net), actually bought one laptop, but found out they were charged 150 euros instead of 150 dollars. There are no shipping charges and the company selling the laptop even installs the laptop with the keyboard setting of the country that was specified at the shipping address when ordering.

The company does not have telephone support, because  “the phone lines are temporarily closed”.
Now, if no telephone support, no physical address, the pricing, the mix-up between euros and dollars and the custom keyboard layout per shipping country for this pricing doesn’t ring a bell, what will?

Maybe the fact the company isn’t registered in Sweden, but in the UK. The UK Companies House registered the company just two weeks ago. The company has been registered trough a Swedish company called For only 3500 SEK, 380 euros,  they will register your company on their UK address. To register such a company, you don’t even have to show up in person, you can just send a copy of ‘your’ passport to the contact person in the UK, who will take care of every administrative issues.
Payments are only processed online and there is a 4 week period between payment and scheduled delivery, enough time to collect the payments, even from credit cards. How fishy can it get?

Now the question is: should a news website link to this kind of websites?

If news websites do not make clear it could be a fraudulent website, they will generate new sales. I guess a little bit additional research would do the trick. Shouldn’t a real news reporter contact the news source first instead of copying a press release?


Comment from Maria
Date: July 22, 2008, 3:16 PM

Are you mixing us with “story about a 150 dollar laptop”?
And by the way we have both phone and faxnumber on th site…

Comment from Stewie
Date: July 31, 2008, 7:01 PM

The story isn’t about your business, that seems legit.