Forum Home» Campaigns Corner

MSE guide discussion - shyster sites - Page 5

New Post Advanced Search

MSE guide discussion - shyster sites

edited 11 March 2014 at 5:58PM in Campaigns Corner
56 replies 64.4K views
1235

Replies

  • robin58robin58 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    tealady wrote: »
    A tip which could be useful is if you are ever looking for a government site then go via https://www.gov.uk. It is a gateway to loads including passports and the official land registry website.

    Good advice tealady.

    Also another piece of advice is to think that any company who advertises on Google or Bing are out to take money out of your pocket into thiers.

    You wouldn't do it face to face, so be just as suspicious when online..
    The more I live, the more I learn.
    The more I learn, the more I grow.
    The more I grow, the more I see.
    The more I see, the more I know.
    The more I know, the more I see,
    How little I know.!! ;)
  • My mother was nearly caught out with a site charging $100 instead of the CA$7 (about £4) via the Canadian government site at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp

    Google was apparently not accepting these ad sites, but clearly there are 3 at the top of the search charging $100 (USA), $39 (USA) and €32 (Polish)

    Beware!
  • There is another (far more sinister) aspect to Shyster Sites: they also garner personal information from unwitting users.

    A typical site will ask you to fill in an official-looking form (name, address, date of birth etc) before asking you for any money. So even if you realise you're on a copycat site at the point when you're asked for payment, by that stage you've already given too much away.
  • I have just been stung painfully by a Shyster ESTA site.I have just paid $95 for a $14 waiver application.I could cry now just seeing that difference in print.I have asked for a refund and cancellation but they have aggressively argued they are a third party agency acting legally.They are just within the law and a cats whisker away from being called a scamming organisation.Please be very carefully when applying on line as this is the only way you can apply for a USA visa waiver.I am trying the bank tomorrow and the American Embassy to see if there is anything I can do.I know deep down this is a costly and painful error and I would hate anyone else to get caught out.

    I Googled "ESTA uk citizen" and the first one on the list is esta.us/uk.html, the official site is 3rd on the list. Out of interest I clicked through (there's a post above saying that the bogus site owner would have to pay per ad click) and filled out an application with some bogus data (old passport number etc).... the bogus site's fee is $119 !!!!! Google have a lot to answer for here as they know full well which are the culprit sites and using the excuse 'it's not illegal' is not ethical considering the current fee for an ESTA is $14. Has anyone on here tried to start a petition on the Parliament site for legislating against social media advertised misleading sites making them liable for compensation? I've not checked Facebook for the same scam (as mentioned in another post) as I don't often go on there much because I don't need to update friends on what I had for breakfast this morning :rotfl::rotfl:
  • I'm a newbie here...inspired to join because of this:
    I went to esta.us to get ESTA visa waivers for the family - got charged $88 instead of the $14. This is annoying and expensive, and I feel like a fool for not spotting that it was fake. But worse, they have all my personal details - passport number/address/DOB etc... I am worried this personal data breach more than the money.... any thoughts welcome
    Thanks
  • FroggittFroggitt Forumite
    5.9K posts
    I'm a newbie here...inspired to join because of this:
    I went to esta.us to get ESTA visa waivers for the family - got charged $88 instead of the $14. This is annoying and expensive, and I feel like a fool for not spotting that it was fake. But worse, they have all my personal details - passport number/address/DOB etc... I am worried this personal data breach more than the money.... any thoughts welcome
    Thanks

    I suspect under GDPR, you have a right to have all your details deleted. Read up on it, and then make sure that it has been done.
    illegitimi non carborundum
  • Hello, another newbie here who has been scammed by esta.us aka Evisaonline (stupidly fell for their number one search ranking!). I have asked them to cancel my application and to delete my details under the right to erasure with GDPR. I will be cancelling my credit card just in case. I have also submitted a story on Watchdog and reported them to Google. With any luck from the powers that be they won't be scamming people anymore!!
  • Fairly good advice is that if you feel you have been misled by one of these sites is to report it though the Citizen's Advice Helpline, where it should then be referred to the Local Trading Standards office. The sites are effectively hugely reliant on Google keyword advertising, and paying huge sums of money for this. The number one spot in the search is worth twice as much to them in revenue than number two. To comply with Google they have to have a secure credit facility for payments on their sites. The way to damage these shyster companies is forcing them to process too many refunds, where the credit facility company cancels their contract and they lose the ability to continue to use Google key word advertising. This Achilles heel is linked to the fact hardly any of the shyster companies comply with the Distance Selling Regulations, in that 14 day cancellation rights and the clear break down of what the customer is actually paying for needs to be provided in a 'durable medium.' Either paper or email. Hiding all the key material in obscure areas of the website or using hyperlinks from the receipt isn't good enough. Therefore Trading Standards usually have a clear way to effectively put a dent in the shysters. Once the company compies with the Distance Selling Regulations of course the number of refunds they get faced with goes through the roof, and the company may die without its key word Google advertising.
  • Another problem is when searching for a florist in Glasgow called Flowers at Sandyford, which had been recommended, the first result seemed to be correct so I made an Internet order. Purely by chance, as the delivery arrangements had to be changed, I discovered my order had in fact gone to another company altogether, called Eflorists which then had the flowers delivered by a company called Blooming Marvellous.
    I can't complain that I didn't get what I ordered as flowers did arrive but I am very annoyed that my money went to a company other than the local one I wanted to use.
    Needless to say the problem stemmed from Google Ads which misrepresented Eflorists as Flowers at Sandyford.
    I cannot stress too much never ever use a company that appears on an ad, always scroll down to find a result that is not an ad.
  • I've literally just forked out £44 to change my address on my licence that I could have done for free.. The Shyster website said that if I contacted them within 24 hours to cancel them I would get a full refund. I have sent them over 10 emails and forms to cancel and they haven't got back to me. I found out who the director was and company information. They said they will get back in touch within one day and they haven't. Is there anything I can do other than pester them?
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support