WebDesignAlloa.co.uk – Yes they are a scam!!
Beware… WebDesignAlloa.co.uk are Scammers!!
I’ve just been ripped-off by these scammers myself, proving that no matter how savvy you think you are, there is always one more company that will just reel you in.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of a new project wanting to get it done asap, but diligence, and composure is an absolute must to avoid getting scammed and I have to admit, I got too excited and wrapped up in the end result rather than composing myself and checking every detail.
Trying out some new links and programmers, I contacted this business and they seemed great, giving me all the answers I was looking to hear. I wanted some work doing on a new site and let them have access to the domain in order to carry out the work.
Here’s their ‘false’ address:
Alloa Business Park
I mention here that this is a genuine business park with no links to webdesignalloa and the company who own the park were very professional and most helpful when I contacted them about this.
Here’s the webdesignalloa website
Still up today (20 December 2013) and still probably taking people’s money although the phone lines are off at least, both land line and mobile! Andrews mobile number was: 07463 630649.
I did all the usual checks such as getting a reference and typing in their name into Google followed by the word ‘scam’ and nothing came up at all which was a good sign… What a mistake!!
I spoke to two people at webdesignalloa.co.uk or maybe it was just one pretending to be two, as I only ever spoke to ‘Josh’ using the online chat window. Andrew and Josh were the given names. Andrew was supposed to be the head to head man as his customer skills were best and Josh was allegedly, the programmer.
I spoke with Andrew on many occasions and he obviously knew what he was talking about, giving me all the correct answers and advising on the best way ahead and everything he said was right and exactly what I wanted. The price they were quoting should have been the defining poke I needed but I wanted to believe, even though it was £1000 less than other quotes I’d received.
However, I paid and gave them access to my new domain and sat back for the month (instead of two weeks that I’d been quoted by other businesses) which was the reason why the price was cheaper) and everything was going well… seemingly!
About a month later, Andrew had been promising a review of the new template, which hadn’t materialised when he’d said it would but I carried on as he as very reassuring. Then I looked at my domain and found that all the files had been removed. Not just the software files, but even the temp page (which was their first mistake) because this should never have happened. THis started me doubting them.
I contacted Andrew straight away and he said it was because the servers were so slow (which is reasonable and something I’ve done myself in the past) so they’d removed the files to their own computer to work on and would upload as soon as the designs were finished.
A few more weeks past and now my calls were never being returned, which kicked the doubt even more. I continued ringing and would receive a reply every third day or so from Andrew explaining that he’d been out of town or in a meeting all day or the phone network had been down etc.
Eventually, after a few more weeks of this I did some proper diligence – which I should have done in the first place!!
I checked out their address at the Alloa business park and it turned out they’d never been there.
On the proposal, they named the programmer as being Nick Babenko (who is a genuine reputable programmer with a good web presence) but when I contacted him, he knew nothing of webdesignalloa.
One thing that did make me think ‘this is not common’ was that they sent me their bank details in the proposal, which I had to make a payment to them via my bank online. But even this is not unheard of.
These were the bank details on the proposal:
Bank Name: HSBC
Sort Code: 40-38-03
Account Number: 31434454
The police told me this bank account was based in Lancashire.
N.B. If this is your bank account… don’t be shy, get in touch!!
Andrew told me Josh was a Scot and he was from Yorkshire (but he didn’t have a Yorkshire accent).
That was enough and I contacted the police, who as usual, did very little apart from take the details and tell me there was not much they could do!
So, £1000 and 8 weeks behind in my latest project.
This was fraud and not just a scam! They listed a programmer from the first week who it turned out, knew nothing of the job.
I contacted GoDaddy, who host their site and reported the fraud but even now, weeks after the event, their site is still up!! (Thanks for that godaddy – great work – very responsible!)
This just goes to show that however savvy you may think you are, it is imperative that you check out all new contacts, however right they appear to be – particularly if they appear to be too good!!
And to end, as usual…