The website www.clear-smart.co.uk entices people by advertising expensive TVs at discount prices. The discounts aren’t huge – these scammers know not to make it obvious that it’s a con trick. So the discount is enough to interest you but not warn you of illegality.
Clear Smart is not a company - just a trade name. When it comes to payment then the real company CS Online Retail Limited becomes apparent. They may also trade under other names – we don’t know.
The TVs for sale are by the big manufacturers e.g. Samsung and are the high spec models i.e. expensive (£1,000+).
You select what you want on the website, then call to place the order. Everything seems professional and legitimate so far.
They have the items in stock and will dispatch the following day. You place your order and then the problems start. Your card payment is rejected. You try again – still rejected. Try another card – still rejected. They say it must be your bank at fault. (If you contact your bank at this stage you would find that the card has not been presented for payment – it’s all a setup).
Now what can you do?
Switch to Direct Payment
Clear Smart offer an alternative – pay by bank transfer and they will give you a small discount for the trouble.
The payment goes to an account named CS Online Services.
The danger of paying by bank transfer is that once the money has been sent it is most likely then moved to another account and you have no chance of getting it back should there be a problem.
There is no TV but now they play the delay game. You get emails saying that the TV has been delayed or damaged in transit or lost or is out of stock – anything to put you off for a while.
Phoning customer services gets the same message, until in time they get fed up with being asked for the TV and make it very clear that you won’t get a TV and you cannot have your money back.
Meanwhile they are still selling these non-existent TVs to more people, using the same tricks.
What Can Be Done to Stop The Scammers?
As with any serious scam, it should be reported to the Police. You need a Police report number if you are going to claim on your insurance. You can also report it to Action Fraud which is part of the Police Service.
The Company - CS Online Retail Limited
This company was created in 2013 and has two directors Charlotte Catherine Hicks of York and Nigel Peter Davis of Weybridge. There was a Stuart Hicks named as Director when the company was incorporated.
Whether these are active people in the scammers business is unknown. Nigel Peter David lists his occupation as accountant.
The company does register annual accounts etc. with companies house and claims to have very little money.
If you know anything about Clear-Smart or CS Online Services (CS Online Retail) then let me know by email.