They have the most banal and irritating advertising campaign ever (which makes goCompare.com look positively award winning!) and now webuyanycar.com has been investigated by the Office of Fair Trading who have taken enforcement action against them over concerns that its online valuations were misleading.

The full investigation can be found on the OFT web site.

We Buy Any Car Limited also has a bit of history with the Advertising Standards Authority …

… and in the national press (this article from The Sun):

CAR sales “specialist” WEBUYANYCAR sacked an employee for paying too much for a motor, the worker has claimed.

He was among dozens of readers who emailed us to complain about the company after it was slammed by regulators last week for ripping off Brits.

The employee, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed colleagues “reset” service warning lights on cars they bought. It meant they could sell them for more at auction.

WeBuyAnyCar yesterday said anyone found doing so would be “dismissed”.

A spokesman added: “We train our buyers to make accurate valuations. Occasionally the buyer proves incapable of the task and we have to let them go.”

QED-uk.com and Mallplace.com spam

Well here’s an interesting thing. I registered with QED-uk.com (Miller Brothers Retail Ltd t/a Quality Electrical Direct) in July 2006 using an email address unique to that site.

Two years later I have been receiving spam emails from mallplace.com all sent to this same unique address.

Originating IP:
from: information@mallplace.com
subject: Best new website award goes to mallplace.com
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2008 17:20:35 +0000

Originating IP:
from: information@mallplace.com
subject: Mallplace, January Sales!
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2008 14:48:41 +0000

Originating IP:
from: information@mallplace.com
subject: mallplace.com given 5 star review by webuser magazine!
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 21:26:51 +0000

So how did the mallplace.com spammers obtain my address I wonder?

The address of QED-uk.com is Miller House, Ogden Road, Doncaster, DN2 4SQ and the whois record for mallplace.com shows that the registrant is “pollock new media” of Miller House, Ogden Road, DN2 4SQ.

QED-uk.com’s web site makes this claim regarding privacy: “As a UK based company we abide by the rules and regulations of the Data Protection Acts of 1984 and 1998, and as such no information supplied to us will be given to or used by any third parties.”

Perhaps someone from Pollock New Media / Mallplace.com would care to comment on their association with Miller Brothers Retail Ltd / QED-uk.com?

UPDATE 17/12/2009

I am now receiving spam mail from ‘liGo Electronics <ichoose@ligo-electronics.com>’ to the same unique address that I used with QED-uk.com. This time they claim “You have received this email as a special customer of liGo.”

Oh really?

False Greetings

Another dangerous email to report. This one masquerades as an online greetings card:


The link actually downloads a harmful executable file from a server in Romania. It contains a trojan which creates secret backdoor entry to your system, downloads more harmful software and gives the author remote virtual control over your PC. They can use this to spy on your activities or make you an unwitting participant in illegal activities.

  • Install decent anti-virus software and keep it up date
  • Never respond to unsolicitied emails, no matter how authentic they look


You may have heard of a social engineering technique called “phishing” in which hackers attempt to trick you into revealing personal login information, which they then use to defraud you in some way. These phishing attacks usually take the form of an email which purports to be from a known and trusted organisation such as your bank or an online retailer.

I received one such email this morning and I wanted to share it with you to demonstrate just how realistic they can seem:

This email may look legitimate enough, but the embedded link actually takes you to a fake site which is intended to steal your login information and credit card details. In this case the rogue server is hosted at the NongMin Daily Newspaper Office in China, which presumably has been compromised.

Please follow this advise to stay safe:

  • Do not trust “From” addresses as these can easily be faked.
  • Never divulge personal or banking details in response to an email.
  • Do not click on links or attachments that you receive in unsolicited emails.

Cash Machine Scams

Some old photos showing how a common cash machine scam is operated.

Looks normal right?

But it isn’t!

The gangs attach these inconspicuous devices to the cash machine and wait for unsuspecting customers. When you insert your card they copy the magnetic stripe details, which is enough to create a cloned card. The camera records your key presses and so they have your PIN too. After skimming a few cards they download the information to a PC, often remotely from a nearby vehicle.

The first you know about it is when you find your bank account has been emptied 😥

Examine the card slot carefully before inserting your card. If you see anything suspicious, do not use the machine!

Most importantly, cover your hand when keying your PIN. This scam relies on being able to see your input, so don’t feel embarassed about covering up.

» BBC: Police issue cash machine warning
» Thames Valley Police: Suspected skimming device – Maidenhead

More photos at National Criminal Intelligence Service.