Fighting the scourge of ‘fake’ websites

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In recent months, my Facebook news feed has been populated mainly by ‘sponsored posts’ from people who have clearly set up ‘fake’ websites in order to dupe unsuspecting people into parting with their hard-earned money all in the name of ‘grabbing a bargain’, especially while we are all supposedly in a ‘cost of living crisis’.

You can spot them a mile off, advertising expensive high-value goods at ridiculously low prices.

These ‘sponsored posts’ will also have what looks to be hundreds of comments from other Facebook users, either praising the item being promoted, or from people asking what look like genuine questions.

But it’s all a scam. The linked-to websites are fake, and all those comments are fake.

What is concerning is the number of people who simply can’t see the obvious signs, and end up getting scammed.

What is also more concerning now is that since the recent news of popular High Street chain Wilko going into administration, there are now a number of ‘sponsored posts’ on Facebook claiming to be offering ‘huge discounts’ with links to what are fake websites but dressed up to look like the Wilko website, using similar styling and even the same logo.

It took a few days, but eventually the BBC picked up on this.

Wilko shoppers warned to avoid fake websites

Wilko shoppers are being urged to avoid being scammed by a raft of fake websites that have been set up after the retailer fell into administration.

Several fake sites are supposedly offering hefty discounts on Wilko goods.

However, Wilko has stopped selling goods online, and is also no longer offering home delivery or click and collect services.

One fake site had a sofa for £25 and an adult’s electric bike also for £25.

Wilko announced earlier this month that it was going into administration, putting 12,500 jobs and its 400 stores at risk.

PwC was appointed as the company’s administrator, tasked with trying to find a buyer for the business.

However, it is now trying to close at least 10 fake websites.

“We have been made aware of a number of fake Wilko websites which are offering Wilko products at heavily discounted prices,” a PwC spokesperson said.

“These websites are not genuine and have been set up to scam users, the only legitimate Wilko website is

“We are in the process of working with the relevant authorities to have these websites removed. We would like to remind our customers that all Wilko sales are now in-store and you are unable to purchase items online.”

Unfortunately, even 4 days later, there are other fake websites springing up and being promoted on Facebook daily.

If it looks too good to be true…

…then it isn’t.

No company in their right mind – even one that has gone into administration – will sell such high value items at these kinds of low prices.

Some of these items aren’t normally sold by Wilko either!

These are Chinese scammers, preying upon peoples’ desires to get ‘a bargain’, I mean who wouldn’t want a rattan garden set for just £20?

It’s despicable and criminal. But it’s not just Wilko, you’ll see other brand logos used in images on these posts, such as Argos, Amazon etc, just to try and lend some ‘authenticity’.

If you come across any of these obvious scam posts on Facebook, don’t just scroll on by, or leave a ‘laughing’ reaction, I urge you to report these sponsored posts for what they are, ‘misleading or a scam’, and certainly don’t share with your friends or tag them in comments.

In addition, you can report fake scam websites like these to the National Cyber Security Centre, and probably also worth reporting to Google’s Safe Browsing team.