I came across Edward Murray bikes whilst searching for Kona Jake The Snake cross bikes. They were offering a seemingly impossible 30% off all orders placed before April 31st 2009 which seemed too good to be true so I decided to investigate.
- Using DNStools.com it’s possible to see that the domain was registered on the 18th Feb 2009. Has the site only just appeared? If so, why? They have “blog/news” articles dating back to 2002.
- For some reason, the robots.txt has been used to block a whole host of internet search engines. Why? A domain history in the “Way Back Machine” is blocked too.
- The checkout process is insecure, carried out entirely over http:// rather than https://
Take a look at a few of the checkout options:
Enter your credit card details, over standard http! Haha, I think not.
- They display a truste.org seal on their homepage. On a legitable website clicking this would redirect your browser to the truste.org website, which would subsequently display some kind of seal of approval. On this site however clicking it takes you to a copied version of the truste.org verification page, hosted on their own server. Here it is. Unsurprisingly when searching for seal holders on the truste website Embikes are not there, meaning they do not hold any seal of approval at current.
- Almost every product has 1 review, and of course those reviews are always 5 stars.
- They have all the bikes in the entire world in stock! Ok, not quite… but they have more than well known online retailers have. For instance, I could apparently choose any size Jake the Snake from the past 3 years (2007-2009 models). Unlikely.
- I entered a brief email correspondance with the “owner” about purchasing a bike. As soon as I asked for some reassurance on the authenticitiy of their site (by providing some of the above concerns), all correspondance stopped.
Worryingly I found this site through Google Shopping. I haven’t yet found a way of reporting fraudulent shops but when I do I’ll be sure to send my “evidence” their way.
Update: Embikes.com no longer appears in Google Shopping results. I wonder how much money they made away with though :/