Milwaukee (WKOW) -- from WI Better Business Bureau: The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of a number of websites purportedly selling personal electronics, duping customers into paying by wire transfer, and then failing to deliver the ordered product.
The websites are believed to be run by the same scammers and are using a variety of URL addresses, including qbelam.com, circuitown.com, capegames.com, and cesaroom.com.
These sites advertise a variety of personal electronics including PS3s and laptop computers at discounted rates.
They give a number of options available for payment.
However, when interested parties try to check out, they are sent a message stating that the only available method of payment is wire transfer.
"Anytime you're being asked to pay for something by a wire transfer service, that should be a huge red flag," said Randall Hoth, Wisconsin BBB president/CEO. "Once money has been sent, there's no way to get it back - using a credit card to pay for items online provides a great deal more security."
According to verbal complaints to BBB, the products ordered have not been delivered.
A BBB staff member posed as a customer and contacted the organization under the guise of buying a laptop.
She indicated she wished to pay using a credit card, and received a message back indicating that "due to high rate of fraudulent activity" they would only accept a wire transfer from consumers outside of Canada.
As the BBB operative had indicated she was a Canadian resident, it appears that the return message was automatically generated, intending to dupe citizens of other countries.
BBB recommends consumers research companies they intend to solicit online, and to never send money to an unknown recipient.