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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I nearly ordered a Weber BBQ from webergrills.melbourne. It was a very good price and when I got to payment there was an unusually high credit card fee and a 5% discount for bank transfer. That made me immediately suspicious. I went back to the website (which was well-constructed) and found no phone number or ABN. An ABN search yielded nothing. I immediately aborted the order. Looking up scam info (Choice, ASIC) this appears not to be a new scam, but an old one with a new web address. Beware, it came up as the top hit on my search (as an Ad).

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Some feedback on this scam.

https://www.weber.com/AU/en/blog/news/be-safe-online-identifying-scam-sites/weber-1910511.html

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Welcome to the Community @ChO,

It might or might not be a scam but there are so many red flags you have made a good decision to abort your order.

Any website without an ABN, street address, and phone contact should be immediately suspect, although there are some small time merchants that only operate via email - yet are not nearly so opaque as to who they are.

Other than its ‘ranking’ as an ad there seems no other trace of this ‘company’ on the net.

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Not to mention a web site that has been registered for 13 days. The URL is also misleading. I don’t know how you get webergrills.melbourne with no suffixes but it is apparently valid. The name and the site suggest it is Australian and at Mornington. The site is hosted in the USA and no local address is given at all so they could be anywhere in the world.

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The site relies on a percentage of the population, most users IMO, not knowing how to assess or not bothering to look at these anomalies.

Most of the extended family fall into the ‘trust’ the Google search blindly category. Web Wisdom comes with experience, only if learnt from youth?

The domain naming standard is basically free form these days.
A TLD of .melbourne or .sydney is registerable as an alternative to say .com or .com.au if you can provide a verifiable location in Victoria or NSW respectively.
Where the business WEB site is operated, or the business is actually located, is of no concern to the registration authority. You just pay your registration fee and get the name to use and locatable via DNS servers with the assigned IP address.

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The ‘new world order’ has added many unusual (for us oldies) suffixes from biz to info to places and others…

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Under the new rules of what are supported Melbourne is the suffix.

Have a gander at what’s available these days

Some come with stricter requirements than .net or .com do eg may require a linked profession or business type or geographic link eg .de requires a German locality.

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I would expect that Weber would be livid that their outstanding name and reputation is being brought into disrepute by theses grubs.

Presumably they are operating somewhere overseas where nothing can be done about their illegal activities.

A Domain Search on Netregistry produced these results.

https://cart.netregistry.com.au/domain-search/?q=webergrills.melbourne

Googling webergrills.com or webergrills.com.au leads to the same scam site as webergrills.melbourne does.

Very similar to the Bitcoin Scam operators.

They can have their domain name cancelled, or transferred to the tm owners.

If the domain is dealt with then that would help hinder their activities. If someone searches for Webers of course they could use any domain name and people would still find them.

Notify Weber of the usage and they are likely to take needed action.

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I will on Monday but it appears that they are already aware or it as per my post above.

And it is very likely to be running in many countries.

image

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It is a website to also skim credit card details. A payment was successful with a 0000 0000 0000 0000 credit card, and other false information. If you give over your actual credit card details on this website, contact your issuer immediately and have your card cancelled before it is used for fraudulent transactions.

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I have reported the scam to Google and requested that they remove the ads.

I have also reported it to Scamwatch…

There is also no information regarding this “business” on either ASIC Online or ABR Lookup.

I will call Weber tomorrow.

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It appears that webergrills.melbourne has gone AWOL.

Great work, Mr Google.

image

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