CHOICE membership

Weber BBQ Scam

We recently were caught by an online scam. My husband found a BBQ discounted by 20% via a website weberbbqstore.com.au. He selected a model that he wanted, placed the order and passed the baton to the treasurer (me) for payment. We should have realised straight away that the site was a scam site - no phone number anywhere and they would only take a bank transfer (no credit cards). I paid $1,112.00 and within 24 hours my husband started to have doubts about the site so he called the real Weber organisation and was told “yes it’s a scam”. I checked the fake site - it was still up and running and our order was listed as “waiting for bank transfer”.

I suggested we email saying we had changed our minds (ha ha, fat chance) which we did but of course there was no response. Further online research found a very similar site previously found to be a scam - the only difference was the logo and the product, everything else was the same. I understand that this scam has been going for a while and not just with Weber products, but also many outdoor items.

Weber had suggested contacting the police which my husband did but they were not in the least interested and told him to log the issue with ScamWatch which he also did.

I contacted the bank by phone immediately (while the website was still operational although it has since been taken down - for a short time it was forwarded to the official Weber site) and logged a request for retrieval of funds from the scammer (the account was in the name of D L Armstrong). A week later we received a letter from the bank saying they “would attempt to retrieve our money”. The wording made me think that they had delayed action for that week and I believe if they had acted immediately there may have been a chance to get our money back, or at the very least prevent others from losing their money. We have since received another letter from the bank saying our request for retrieval of funds has not been successful. I am now considering making a complaint to the Banking Ombudsman.

I understand that we made a choice to send money to an online account and should have been more careful, however I’m really disappointed with our bank (one of the big 4) and their slow response.

In conclusion:

  • be wary of making online purchases by bank transfer
  • beware of websites that don’t provide a contact number
  • choose your bank carefully
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“Which bank?”

Whilst I was watching SBS TV yesterday afternoon, I noticed Harvey Norman advertising a BBQ sale and I was sure that the ad included an image of a Weber Q.

I cannot find anything online regarding Harvey Norman selling Weber, and I would expect that Weber would avoid them like the plague.

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It could be this one…where a passing glance looks a little like a Weber…

https://www.harveynorman.com.au/beefeater-bigg-bugg-bbq-with-trolley-stand-full-length-cover.html

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I reckon that is the one.

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Sorry to hear about your expensive education @Phloesmum. Regardless of how long your bank took to respond reality is that they can only retrieve transfers if the money is still in the destination account. Scammers (and sometimes others who receive mis-directed transfers) move it out as soon as it is deposited as clear funds, hence it is very rare to get it back.

All banks have similar texts to this from Bank of Melbourne (randomly found from google).

Can I stop a ‘Transfer to an Account in Australia’ once I have submitted it?

Once a transfer has been confirmed via Internet Banking, we are unable to stop or cancel payment.

If you have made a payment incorrectly, please contact our Internet Banking Helpdesk on 13 22 66 (+61 2 9155 7800 overseas) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

There are two procedures that can be initiated:

1. Recall - A recall will endeavour to retrieve the funds from the credited account. This is a manual process and may take up to 6 weeks (not including weekends). Please be aware that we cannot guarantee return of the funds. If the recall is successful the funds will be credited to your account. If the recall is unsuccessful you will be notified in writing. Read our Transaction Accounts includes the Transaction, Savings and Investment Accounts: Terms and Conditions (incorporating fees and charges) for more information relating to this.

2. Trace - A trace will locate the destination of the funds. This is a manual process and may take up to 2 weeks (not including weekends). Fees may apply.

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Thanks for that Mr BBG - it was an expensive lesson as you say. We are lucky we were not financially disabled by the incident as many other people would be. We will know next time!

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