Fake online board seller fishes for credit card info
1 day ago | Updated 1 day ago
by Matt Rott
I received a text message half an hour ago from a buddy who thought he’d hit the jackpot. An online surfboard retailer was having a clearance sale on just about every major shaper you’ve ever heard of — Channel Islands, Lost, Pyzel, Bing, and dozens of others — and most boards were being marked down 80-90%. Better yet, there was free shipping! He’d already ordered 10 boards, and texted me with the link immediately after, as the sale expired in seven hours.
I took a look, and what I saw was almost good, too good to be true — the top models from the world’s most popular board companies, all on sale for between $80 and $110. Despite my initial compulsion to go on a massive shopping spree and order a lifetime’s worth of boards, a little voice in the back of my head cried out for prudence. I spend a lot of time talking with my shapers, and have even hacked out and glassed a couple of lemons myself, so I know that the materials used to build a board cost more than the amount this company was charging.
The company looked legit when I researched it online — a surf shop and board retailer in St. Augustine, Florida. The only strange thing was that the website I found from my Google search didn’t have the same prices as the link my buddy had sent me on Facebook. Then I took a closer look, and noticed that the surf shop in St. Augustine hosts its website at www.surfstationstore.com, while the site with all the mind-blowing deals was www.surfstationshop.com. They had the same layout, the same logo, the same boards, nearly the same name—but only one had contact info and prices that actually made sense.
I called Surf Station Store in St. Augustine to see what was going on, and spoke to a manager there. She told me that the fake site popped up yesterday, and that it is indeed a scam — no name-brand surfboards for $90, just stolen credit card numbers and maxed out accounts. I texted my buddy immediately, and he is currently in the process of canceling his credit card. In the meantime, Surf Station Store is working with Google to get the fake site taken down.
The moral of the story? 1) If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t. 2) Surfboards aren’t cheap, but the investment is usually still worth it. 3) Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Except this. This is true.