Credit card customers conned by web domains
By UK CreditCards.com
Foreign vendors are fooling web shoppers, including those who pay by credit card, that they are based in the UK.
Trading standards officers believe that these sellers are often promoting shoddy or non-existent goods, leaving buyers out of pocket, the BBC reports.
Contrary to popular belief, a firm does not need to be based in Britain in order to get a .co.uk suffix. In fact, over 5% of holders of these domains, or around 480,000 separate websites, are in fact based overseas.
Speaking to the broadcaster, trading standards officer Paul Miloseski-Reid said: "There doesn't need to be a UK link … So it's really open to abuse by criminals who want to pretend they're local when they're selling unsafe, counterfeit goods."
Customers are recommended by banks to use credit cards, rather than debit cards, when buying goods online. This is partly due to the fact that extra legal protections are afforded to these transactions.
So long as the goods and services cost more than £100 and less than £30,000, customers can claim back money from their credit card provider in many cases, if they feel the seller has breached their contract.
However, in cases of purchases from an unregulated overseas vendor, credit card firms might opt to turn down repayment claims from customers.
Published: 6 August 2009
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