How to Spot a Fraudulent Company
If a company is listed on ukdata.com does that mean it is
Yes and No. It is possible for a fraudster to use the
credentials of a legitimate company. In almost all cases they
will demand payment through unsecured and untraceable methods
such as Western Union. Read on for tips to help you decide
whether a company is a genuine limited company.
Can you tell me whether a company is genuine?
No, but this section offers advice. Ultimately it is down to
you and your common sense as the customer, to carry out the
necessary checks and ensure you are dealing with a genuine
company. With over 3 million registered companies on our
database, we can only comment on the company's financial and
credit status based on the data we have.
Tips on Spotting Internet Scams and Company ID
If you answer yes to three or more of the questions
below then our advice would be -
Be Very Cautious!
Does the seller only accept payment by Western
Union or Moneygram?
Scammers often use Western Union and Moneygram to take
your money because it is untraceable. Only use Western
Union for friends and family. Credit card payments and
Pay Pal offer you some security, money transfer is not
Does the seller use a free email
Look out for the use of free email accounts such as
yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail addresses. These are easy to
set up and equally easy to delete once they have your
Does the offer sound too good to be
If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Use your common sense, if someone is offering you a
great deal on a phone worth hundreds of pounds, this
should be considered suspicious.
Does the seller use an 070... numbers or mobile
070 numbers are high rate, personal numbers costing as
much as £2 for a 10 second call. Legitimate
companies should not use high rate telephone numbers
and equally are unlikely to use a mobile telephone
number in place of a land line. 90% of UK limited
companies will have a telephone number listed at
Did they direct you to ukdata.com to verify
ukdata.com is not a government organisation.
If a company is listed on our website, it says nothing
about the legitimacy of it's trading business. Scammers
or Fraudsters pretend to work for legitimate companies
from our database and use valid address details, this
does not mean the seller is actually a member of that
organisation or is entitled to use their identity.
Do you get the impression that the seller is
operating overseas, but using a UK company
The Internet marketplace removes the benefits of
direct customer contact. There are no geographical
barriers which enables fraudsters to operate from
anywhere in the world, protecting them from
Have already paid for items and the seller now
ignore your emails and messages?
He has your money and it is unlikely you'll receive
Does the seller press for you to increase your
Scammers often claim that your parcel contains a
higher quantity of items than your ordered and these
need to be paid for, before the amount can be corrected
and refunded. If this were the case, it would be the
fault of the company and they should pay these
After purchasing goods has the seller asked you
to send more money for goods to clear customs?
The scammer claims that your good are held at customs
and custom payments need to be paid before you receive
your items. This is common of fraud.
Once paid, are you are provided with a shipping
number that is ´not found´ or
´invalid´ on the shipping companies
Although this may be a genuine mistake. You should
investigate it immediately.
Is the website poorly designed?
Although a badly designed website does not guarantee
it is owned by a scammer, if a bad website is combined
with any of the other tips on the page then
Was the website registered within the last 3
Check the credibility of the website using a service
Does the seller use incorrectly spelt words
and/or bad grammar?
Whilst bad grammar does not confirm fraudulent
activity, it is often the case that a scam or fraudster
operates from abroad with very little knowledge of UK
company law and language. Inaccuracies with regards to
company law are also a strong indicator.
Did you find the company on a forum, Auction or
Scammers post on multiple web forums, increasing their
web presence and the likelihood that someone looking
for 'cheap mobile phones' or similar, will find their
posts through search engines.
Does a search in Google yield any mentions of
If you are suspicions of a company you have found on
her web, it is likely that someone else has had the
same suspicions as you. Internet Scams are extremely
common, and the name of legimitate companies are used
in a lot of cases, without their knowledge. Search the
web to get advice from others.
How to check you are speaking with a company listed on our
Contact the Registered Office
If in doubt, write to the company's registered office
address - you can find this information for free by
searching our website, or call if
you can find a telephone number. Ask that they contact you
about the sale.
Download Ownership Details
By downloading the Annual Return which is filed once a year,
you can cross reference details of the directors/shareholders
etc with the details you have been provided by the seller to
ensure you are actually speaking with an employee of the real
company. Bear in mind however, the fraudster may have done
his research and found this information out in the same way.
You can find the Annual Return under the company´s
filing history by searching our website.
Please note that there have been cases where fraudsters have
gone to the trouble of illegally filing documents at Companies
House in order to change the company´s registered office
address and even director names and then using the false
details to trade illegally without the company´s