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Q: Are these UK companies legit or scammers? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Are these UK companies legit or scammers?
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: crillev-ga
List Price: $35.00
Posted: 27 Jun 2006 15:58 PDT
Expires: 27 Jul 2006 15:58 PDT
Question ID: 741586
I am investigating these London-based companies  with the purpose to
buy iPods from them. Are they legit and serious?

PROBUS SOFTWARE LTD 0044-(0)20 8692 2690   Tery Taylor
ShopNokia	    0044-20-7395-3100	   Paulo Maldine / HitSoftware Ltd  0044 - 546 ? 486654
Abtek It Ltd  0044-020-7267 4469
Koring LTD , Birmingham / 0044 ? (0)20?8123 7315
PhonesHome Co.Ltd	0044 - 700 - 5961429
Radwin Ltd, 020-74024111

Cheers / Chris V
Subject: Re: Are these UK companies legit or scammers?
Answered By: scriptor-ga on 27 Jun 2006 19:26 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Dear crillev,

I examined the companies from your list. Here are the results, and I
hope they will be useful for you!

Best regards,

--- Probus Software Ltd. ---

There really is a company of that name, located at 7 St.Margarets
Road, London, SE4 1YL, and their telephone number is indeed
+44(0)20-8692-2690 - they are listed in the UK Yellow Pages, and they
were incorporated already in 1985 [12]. But it seems that someone is
misusing the company's identity for fraudulent activities [13]:

"Also, one guy in London, UK has really scammed me. I sent 50% deposit
for goods to him via Western Union and then he refused to ship to me
unless I paid the remainder. When I refused he agreed to refund my
money after I threatened to contact the FBI and Interpol, but never
received the money as promised. Now he will not respond at all. Here
is his information:
Business: Probus Software Ltd
Name Tery Taylor
Street 7 St Margarets Road(...)"

Also, their entry at EC21 [14] does look like the work of a fraudster.
While the real Probus Software Ltd. seems to be simply a small
software shop, the EC21 profile claims:

"Probus Software Ltd is one of the world's leading providers of
communications solutions serving customers in Europe, the Americas and
Asia Pacific. Its principal activities include networked IT services,
local, national and international telecommunications services, and
higher-value broadband and internet products and services.
In the UK, Probus Software Ltd serves more than 20 million business
and residential customers with more than 30 million exchange lines, as
well as providing network services to other licensed operators."

This is extremely unbelievable. The strange thing is that the
fraudsters do boldly use the real company's phone number. They
certainly believe that few, if any, of their victims would try to call
them. In any case, I recommend to be very cautious.

--- ShopNokia ---

Clearly a scam. I have examined their website at EC Plaza [1], and
there they claim that their phone and fax numbers are
011-44-20-7395-3000 and 011-44-20-7395-3100, respectively. Well, those
are indeed valid British numbers. Unfortunately, they belong to the
London branch office of the US law firm Fredrikson & Byron [2], and
not to any Nokia dealer. The fraudsters behind ShopNokia have simply
used numbers they found on the Web.

The link they provide does, by the way, not even lead to a website the
fraudsters set up themselves to make their scam look more convincing,
but to the real site of Nokia UK.

--- HitSoftware Ltd. ---

Clearly a scam. Neither "HitSoftware Ltd." nor "Hit Software Ltd." are
registered in the United Kingdom. Their Web domain,
"" was not registered by any British entity
or individual, but allegedly by someone resident in the USA. That
person does exist, but I am certain that he does not even know that
his name and address were used to register a domain. Why would a
British company register their domain through an individual living in
a small rural town in Michigan, USA? It's very unlikely. Besides, the
domain was registered only recently, on 1 April 2006, and it will
expire after one year already. This is typical for online scammers:
They use stolen or fake identities to register "disposable" domains
which they simply abandon once they are not of use any longer.

Things do even get more shady when carefully examining the contact
information section of their website. They list several addresses of
their (alleged) offices in Europe and the USA. At least the German
address is strange, since the Fax number there is a US number and has
nothing to do with Germany. Research did not produce the slightest
evidence that at those addresses branches of this company are located.
At the end of the list, we get a second UK address, Victoria House in
Burnley. And here, the company's legal registered name is suddenly
"Quality Electrical Supplies and Technology Ltd.", while they claim to
be "HitSoftware Ltd." elsewhere [7]. Even worse - they wrote
"Tehnology" and "Lmt" instead of "Technology" and "Ltd".

Searching for the "business number" 02616061 (which is actually a
Registered No.) reveals that the fraudsters have stolen the identity
of an actual registered UK company to appear legit [8]. The scammers
must be a bit confused, since the contact information on their
"company's" website does not match the data they provide at EC21 [7].
And at EC21, they also claim to exist since 1997, while the actual
company whose identity they misuse was incorporated 6 years earlier.

--- Abtek IT Ltd. ---

Clearly a scam. There is indeed a company of the name "Abtek IT Ltd."
in London. However, their telephone number is NOT +44(0)20-7402-4111,
but actually +44(0)20-7251-1937. They are located at 1 Dufferin
Avenue, London, EC1Y 8PQ. And they do not sell electronics, since they
are a software development company.

I am absolutely certain that the name (and street address) of this
actual company is being misused by fraudsters. I have found two
"company profiles" [5][6] they posted at business-to-business
marketplaces, and in both cases the texts are full of mistakes; they
don't look at all as if an Englishman had written them. Besides, these
"employees" does not even know when their "company" had been founded.
In one profile, it's 2003, and in the other it's 1998.

Those are very obviously scammers. If in doubt, you can always call
the real Abtek IT Ltd. and inquire, but I'm certain that their answer
will be the same.

--- Koring Ltd. ---

Clearly a scam. There is indeed a company of the name Koring Ltd. in
the UK [3], and their principal office is even located at the address
mentioned on the Koring Electronics website (69 Great Hampton Street
in Birmingham) - but I have no doubt that the fraudsters simply stole
this name and address to appear legit. The Web domain
"" was not registered by someone in the UK, as
one should anticipate, but allegedly by an individual named Michael
Nicosia, resident in Salem, New Hampshire, USA. This is already
suspicious: Why would a UK company take such a detour to register
their domain? And it gets even more suspicious, because  Mr. Nicosia's
alleged phone number belongs to an entirely different person and
address than listed in the domain registration record. The next
revealing point is that the domain was registered only very recently,
on 28 March 2006, and will expire as early as on 27 March 2007. This
is typical for scammers: They register short-lived "disposable"
domains that are simply abandoned once they are not of use any longer.
Finally, the domain was registered through an Indonesian provider - it
is a completely unrealistic scenario that a UK company has their
domain registered through a US individual who uses an Indonesian
domain provider. But Indonesia is where the most notorious scammers
are located. And this is exactly what Koring Electronics is: The work
of scammers who took a UK company name and address and registered a
domain using a fake identity.

--- PhonesHome Co. Ltd. ---

Clearly a scam. There is no registered company of the name "PhonesHome
Co. Ltd." in the UK, and the same is true for the spelling variant
"Phones Home". I have found their company profile at EC21 [4], where
they claim to be located at "E136WH Queens Park, England, United
Kingdom". That address is more than weird: Is "Queens Park" the name
of the town? If so, they don't let us know their street address. Or is
it the street's name, with no house number? If that is true, they
conceal the town they are allegedly located in. But the question is
not really important since the address is fake: There is no postcode
E136WH anywhere in the United Kingdom. A reputable company would
certainly not use a fake address, let alone such a clumsy one.

--- Radwin Ltd. ---

Clearly a scam. While there actually is a registered company of that
name [9], in-depth research shows that something is shady about those
who claim to be Radwin Ltd. with the London phone number 020-74024111.
I found out that the very same telephone number is also claimed by one
"company" named Forrest Electronics, allegedly located  at 225 Edgware
Road [10].
In both cases, it's a bold lie. As I found out, that London number
belongs to the Hilton London Metropole Hotel, it's one of their fax
numbers [11]. And the hotel is located at 225 Edgware Road. Other
scammers use that number and address, too. Whoever claims that this is
the telephone number of his company is a scammer who simply uses an
actual company's name for his fraudulent activities.

[1] EC Plaza: ShopNokia

[2] Fredrikson & Byron: Offices - London

[3] UK Data: Koring Ltd.

[4] EC21: PhonesHome Co. Ltd.

[5] ManySuppliers: Abtek I.T. Limited

[6] All Products: Abtek I.T. Limited

[7] EC21: HitSoftware Ltd

[8] UK Data: Registered No. 02616061

[9] UK Data: Radwin Ltd.

[10] EC21: Forrest Electronics

[11]  European Office of Aerospace Research & Development: Visiting EOARD

[12] UK Data: Probus Software Ltd.

[13] Alibaba: Discussions - Ways to know a Fraudster

[14] EC21: Probus Software Ltd.

Allwhois Domain Database

Switchboard Telephone Directory

Royal Mail: Postcode Finder

UK Yellow Pages

UK Data
crillev-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $35.00
Thanks Scriptor,
Quick and to the point.
I had a bad gut feeling about these companies.
Does anybody know if there's any legit iPod wholesaler in the UK?

There are no comments at this time.

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