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Bike fraud…

Be warned. We all know about dodgy e-mails to classified sellers on eBay and cycling sites asking for cash and offering stupid terms. However, now the scumbags are praying on naive shoppers. So when internet shopping for bargain bikes only use properly approved and checked-out bike dealers, as this report from cycle trade website BikeBiz.com reports…

Fermen Cycling, Kelmet-sale and Delin Cycles give London addresses but the postcodes are wonky and the whois records show the sites are registered to individuals in Texas, New Mexico and Illinois. One of the registrants has a Nigerian name. All three sites look identical, apart from the URLs and shop names. It’s likely there are more such 419-scam shops out there, using the same template. ‘Fermen’ is also a name being used on eBay, in a number of variants. Buyers beware…

fermen-cycle.com is registered to ‘Fermen’ of 130 Renda Lane #3 Dongola, Il 62926.

delincycles.com is registered to Oladehinde Idowu of 7506 Clarewood Drive, Houston, Texas 7703 6.

kelmet-sale.com is registered to Derek S Riewe of 2608 Llano Encantado NW, Albuquerque.

All three sites are hosted by Easyspace Ltd. of Glasgow. It’s likely all are run by the same individual, or gang, possibly from America, more likely from Nigeria itself. On eBay, fermens1221 mutated into fermens1222 soon after fermens1221 was removed as a seller by eBay following complaints.

The fermens postings on eBay seem to be automated because as soon as one fermens name is banned, another pops up and with 214 bikes for sale almost immediately. The online bike shops all provide the same ‘about us’ text, but with the shop names changed, of course.

The scam is softened with some bizarre sales pitch… “Kelmet Cycling Shop was open in February 2002. Run by motivated and experienced staff always striving for providing the best possible service to our valued customers, we have quickly become one of the largest online bikes store located directly in the heart of England. Time is our enemy! We need to sell very fast!”

All three shops claim to sell brands such as Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Litespeed, Kona and Specialized. However, the only bikes listed are 2004 Trek MTBs. All are priced in dollars. The sites urge would-be buyers to email in requests for the bikes. Obviously this is why time is their enemy…

“We had many problems in past with stolen identity using credit card payment and we took the decision not to use direct credit card payment…We have 2 ways for payment: one via bank wire and is available for UK and international customers and the other one is via cash transfer…

“After payment is confirmed in our bank account, it will take maximum 24 hours your order to be processed and shipment to be started. We will give you also the tracking number for shipment to track your bike.”
Obviously this is a clear scam but just be aware that they are targetting bike buyers…

As the secret service says: “The perpetrators of Advance Fee Fraud (AFF), known internationally as “4-1-9″ fraud after the section of the Nigerian penal code which addresses fraud schemes, are often very creative and innovative.”
These sort of fake sites often belong to 419-scammers of West African origin. For details of how the 419 scam works see these links:

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