Firewood: fake shops are booming on the internet, beware of scammers

Flood of fake offers The false promises of the firewood scammers

Energy prices are rising, criminals are adapting their scam: In many places, firewood is offered online that is never delivered. In the industry, the situation is considered “catastrophic”.

13..2022, 19.24 Watch

Jede Menge Brennholz: Die Preise sind in den vergangenen Monaten stark gestiegen Jede Menge Brennholz: Die Preise sind in den vergangenen Monaten stark gestiegen Jede Menge Brennholz: Die Preise sind in den vergangenen Monaten stark gestiegen

Lots of firewood: Prices have risen sharply in recent months

Firewood for 60 or 70 Euro per loose cubic metre, with free nationwide delivery within 24 Hours? Anyone who comes across such bargains online these days should be skeptical. For weeks now, police authorities have been warning of fake shops trying to trick consumers with alleged special prices for firewood and pellets in the wake of rising energy prices. After the Bad Segeberg Police Headquarters

and the Police Headquarters Lower Bavaria

This Monday, the Wesel district police authority also saw itself as responsible, specifically for this to draw attention to fraud attempts

.

The scam revolves around fictitious online retailers with real, unsuspicious names sites. Criminals offer products such as firewood and pellets on websites such as brennholz-fabrik.com and top-brennholz.com. The prices and delivery times are often remarkably good, and as a rule, an imprint and contact options also suggest seriousness. At the same time, however, interested parties are tempted to pay for the goods in advance or at least to make a down payment.

Once money has flowed, the supposed deal is already over: the firewood ordered via the fake shops is never delivered, the criminals make off with their earnings.

Attempts to reach the shop provider after waiting a few days are in vain, Customers no longer get a response to their calls or emails. Or, something like this also happens, they end up with a real firewood company, but they cannot help them. In these cases, the scammers have brazenly copied an established company’s contact details and incorporated them into their lockdown websites and fake ordering processes.

No connection under this number

The district police authority in Wesel reported on Monday about “a typical case” in which a 34-year-old wanted to buy “two cubic meters of beech firewood” from a fake shop. “When she entered her data in the order form, she was referred directly to a French account for the transfer,” it says. “After the transfer, the woman from Dinslaken dialed a phone number that was given on the website to make an appointment for the delivery. But the number was not assigned.«

In order to protect other firewood seekers from such annoyances, the Wesel authorities advise that you inform yourself about the shop before ordering. “Reputable shops are characterized by the fact that they provide secure payment options with buyer protection or purchase on account,” she emphasizes. Anyone who becomes a victim of online fraud should report it.

The police headquarters in Lower Bavaria also advised last week to search online for the experiences of others before making a purchase in a hitherto unknown shop – you often come across this Warnings. And in Lower Bavaria, too, caution is advised if payment can only be made in advance.

If you want to know what extent the rip-off has already reached this summer, the Federal Association of Firewood Trade and Firewood Production (BuVBB) is the right contact. As early as mid-July, that industry association wrote on its website

that cases of fraud were reported to him »again and again«.

Since the publication of that message, however, the situation has become “even worse”, downright “catastrophic”, says on Tuesday Gerd Müller, head of the BuVBB office, the SPIEGEL. A dealer had just reported to him that he was per day until 20 got angry calls – because a fake website simply claimed his business was a local delivery point owned by them. “People who have paid for the fake shop and are waiting for their goods are now complaining to the real dealer,” says Müller, who knows several similar cases. “The whole thing is incredibly annoying and damaging to the reputation of the companies concerned.”

Jede Menge Brennholz: Die Preise sind in den vergangenen Monaten stark gestiegen

Sought-after good firewood: »At prices below 100 Euro per Bulk cubic meters I would be careful «

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