Although it seems their days are numbered, there is always a chance that they can still catch people. Thanks to our forum members, this ‘business’ has come to our attention. The Bicycle Company UK has seemingly appeared out of nowhere and over the past few months has been ripping people off, offering bikes at discounted prices when no one else had stock.
By using a dormant business as a cover and trying to sound legitimate using existing business addresses, they managed to fool a few people. The scam site uses the addresses of two real companies, Bicycle Richmond and PGR Construction. They did everything they could to look like a real business. Built a website, tried to pass a Companies House profile as theirs, and created profiles online. But there is more to the story.
To prevent “The Bicycle Company UK” from defrauding someone else, here’s what we found in our investigation.
The Bicycle Company United Kingdom
It appears that The Bicycle Company UK website appeared around May 2021. Their Facebook page uploaded the first photo on May 20. Their Companies House profile is actually not theirs at all, a dormant business they’ve taken advantage of.
The current directors are Steve and David Wilcock and Rory Canning. People who wanted to start a business but never did. The crooks took advantage of this. He even went so far as to create a Facebook profile for Steve Wilcock and appoint him director of The Bicycle Company. In a Google search, one of the listings displays’Steve wilcock छ ‘, it looks like the profile may be from Nepal.
The addresses on the scam site are legitimate businesses, 6 The Old Quarry, Nene Valley Business, Park, Oundle, Peterborough, PE8 4HN. This is in fact the address of PGR Construction. The other, 120a Sheen Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1UR is the address of Bicycle Richmond. If you search for the company number on Companies House, you will get Bicycle LTD, the company information for those who own Bicycle Richmond.
We spoke to PGR Construction and Bicycle Richmond to find out more.
Speaking to PGR Construction, it was revealed that they share company premises with an accountant. Many of the Accountant’s clients use the address to register their business with Companies House. Speaking to Lee Jinks of PGR Construction, he revealed that “The Bicycle Company (UK) LTD” incorporated into Companies House in 2018 was legitimate. The directors had every intention of starting a business, but that did not happen. The crooks saw the opportunity to use the dormant company as part of their scam. This is why the company is now dissolved.
On July 6, The Bicycle Company (UK) LTD requested deletion from the companies register. On July 13, a notice was published in The Gazette stating that the company would be struck off the register.
Try to shut them down
It was a dormant business, they (the crooks) took their name and made a website. It has been a nightmare because people are calling us because they have seen our offices and we get about 4 to 5 calls per week. I had the website shut down once, but the host is now in the US. We contacted the police who referred us to Action Fraud but nothing seems to be happening. While the host was in UK within a few calls I could talk to them and they would pick it up. Now that the host is in America, the information they want will take forever and it has nothing to do with our business.
When I spoke to Action Fraud they told me it’s kind of the trend right now, scammers will look at Companies House, find a dormant business, set up a website and fraudulently take people’s money. . The people who wanted to start a business were legitimate, it never happened. Now they are doing all they can to crush it.
Lee Jinks, PGR Construction
Bike Richmond is aware of the fraudulent information used on the fraudulent website. They get up to five calls a day from people who have been scammed by the site.
Bicycle LTD, have been made aware of the fraudulent website named. We have reported this issue to the Metropolitan Police, as well as to website domain administrators and Companies House. So far, none of these organizations have provided assistance in removing the website.
The Bicycle Company is currently using our address and company registration details to scam people online into accepting payment for advertised products that they don’t have. All bikes listed require a valid dealer contract, none of which have been recognized by the bike manufacturers. Additionally, many of the bikes advertised are older models that haven’t been in stock for months. Anyone who has been affected should contact the police and obtain a crime reference number. We have been told by the police that fraudulent use of our company details to open a website is not considered a crime, so I urge people who have lost money to report it so that they take action.
Pear Jamieson, Workshop Manager at Richmond bike
Photoshop not quite ready
A quick glance at their website reveals a photo of their business premises. At first glance, you might not see anything wrong with it. However, with a bit of digging, it looks like the photo used is actually a Google Street View screenshot from 2016.
Singletrack reader Sarah Bug spoke about her scam experience on the site:
While I should be experienced and smart enough not to fall for a crappy website like this, I ordered an Early Rider bike for my daughter.
Obviously, I never had the bike. But as they were chatting to me using poor English and talking bullshit, finally my brain kicked in. So, pretty quickly, I reported them to the police (in Germany, where I’m based) and advised my bank to do a chargeback. I got the money back and I’m in contact with the police, it looks like they’re actually investigating. I reported them to the police, an English site, their chat system, and their vivawallet.
Strangest thing, last night they emailed me saying my order is canceled (after changing my order status to “delivered” a few days ago). They offered to refund my money but they also asked me for a second payment to place a new order.
Looking at their Trustpilot reviews, it’s clear The Bicycle Company UK reacts badly to any bad feedback. To any mention of a scam, their response is to call the review bogus and say that it was left by competitors or “the crazy people who laugh at the internet”.
Do not buy with The Bicycle Company UK
We can only hope that this site will be closed for good soon for the sake of the people who have been scammed and the businesses it has an impact on. Yes, The Bicycle Company UK is a scam, don’t buy with them. Visit the Action Fraud website to report fraud or cybercrime on their website.
Scott Sports warns of scam sites: we’ll sue you
Could this be the last nail in the coffin of online crooks?
Featured Premier Partner
Join our mailing list to receive editorial wisdom from Singletrack straight to your inbox. Each newsletter is animated by an exclusive editorial from our team. There are usually links to what we think are our most important news and Charlie likes to highlight certain Singletrack products every now and then. Don’t be surprised to find some pretty good deals mixed in with all of this too.