Here is the story...
I have just been defrauded of 4300 GBP by a sophisticated scammer. Hope the details here helps someone else avoid the depressing frustration of being screwed out of you hard earned money.
We booked a Ski Chalet through skimoar.com; a very slick website as can be gleaned from the cached pages at the search engine because it is no longer active. We were in regular friendly email contact with seemingly well mannered (impeccable English speaking) contacts Marc Dalseg and Maria Folger (fake names) who purported to be from Carden Office Property Ltd trading as SkiMoar.com. Based in the darkest reaches of Scotland and reported by Companies House as a safe going concern involved in property rental; the scammers really picked well.
Sophistication of the scam was high - all communication was well versed around our intended holiday: catering, travel etc. However after foolishly paying the invoice; a neat PDF with seemingly strong credentials (phone number - actually a message service we thought was a convenience for England folks; Halifax UK bank details; etc); we didn't get a response to one of our enquiries and started to feel uncomfortable. It turns out that the account name for payment was Carden Office Propriety (neat, huh... and missed whilst reading the invoice).
The Halifax branch hosting the account refused to divulge details on the account holder; but we are now aware that their web site was carefully scraped from another's, including convincing details and photos. We have reported the incident to the police however it seems that we were effectively screwed by an advanced, English speaking/culture aware, organization or individual.
From whois.net information the original website was registered to: Website: skimoar.com
Title: Premium ski chalets and apartments in luxurious winter resorts
Description: Premium ski chalets and apartments in luxurious winter resorts
Domain Age: 39 Days
Organisation: xu liang
Owner: liang xu
Owner Address: xiang zhou qu cui xiang jie dao No.513
Owner City: zhu hai shi
Owner Postcode: 519000
Phone Number: 075622913386
Searching for that phone number has revealed a couple of other sites they may be using to scam people:
The registrar/hoster might not be aware of this criminal activity, but I doubt it:
CHENGDU WEST DIMENSION DIGITAL TECHN
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Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.
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