Daboval.com and Domi-bike.com, anatomy of fake belgian eBike websites

About

I was interested to buy a Cube 27.5 eBike, one of the last bikes not infected by the 29er wheel size frenzy.

The bike normally resells for 6200EUR VAT incl. in bike shops.

Yesterday 8th June 2020, a friend sent me an ad posted on a Facebook group of ebikers "vttae (vtt électrique de Belgique)", with a rebate for 5000EUR VAT incl on some online bike shop named "Daboval".

Daboval.com

daboval-troc-velo-fbgroup.PNG

Not listed as a Cube resseller

I quickly check if the company was registered as an official Cube reseller. I could not find a shop named 'Daboval' on the Cube reseller search form. First strange thing. But acceptable since they probably don't have a physical shop or showroom. But their website displays picture of a 'real' bikeshop:

daboval-com-magasin-800x.png

Not that the Virtual tour of the shop "Découvrir" is not working. Strange. But it might be normal if you don't have a real shop :-)

A stolen company number

Daboval.com, I never heard of this online store before, and the company being "located" in Belgium, with a mother company in Switzerland, I quickly checked since how long this company exists via their VAT number registration (BE 0895.775.501). I entered their number in a governmental website, and the number has been assigned to a jewelry in Ixelles, the Joaillerie royale. Second strange thing.

I also checked the address somewhere near Mons, rue Athéna, 7110 Houdeng-Goegnies, via Google Street View if there was a bike shop there, I could only see an industrial zoning with trucks terminals, and a 'ToysRUs' shop nearby. Third strange thing.

daboval-mentions-legales-800x.png

The intra-communautary-VAT number also does not match the length required for a real VAT number, so forms were rejecting that one.

A strange phone call

I then called the phone number mentioned on the website. I could not recognise a common belgian phone number format, except the +32 in front. Later on, a friend working in the VoIP industry will tell me that this number is operated by Voxbone, a well-known VoIP provider in Belgium.

I asked the guy on the end of the line why the company and the VAT numbers were not matching, he said those were the ones they received from the "Chamber of Commerce". He also said the company was new, and created 3 months ago. Strange.

A bank account in Holland for a Belgian company?

I then placed an order on their website for a bike, with payment via wire transfer, and received the following payment instructions by email:

Bestellnummer 2575 Ausstehende Zahlung
DABOVAL BIKE <moc.lavobad|troppus#moc.lavobad|troppus>

Mon, Jun 8, 11:02 AM (1 day ago)


Domi Bike bestätigt den Eingang Ihrer Bestellung Nr. 2575 im Online-Shop. Ihre Bestellung wird jetzt von unserem Kundenservice bearbeitet. Zu Ihrer Information, die > Lieferung Ihrer Bestellung erfolgt innerhalb von maximal 3 bis 5 Tagen.

Um Ihre Bestellung zu validieren und bereits in der aktuellen Woche zu liefern, bestätigen Sie bitte Ihre Bestellung, indem Sie die Zahlung per Banküberweisung an die unten angegebenen Kontaktdaten leisten:

HALTER: DABOVAL BIKE
IBAN: NL04 INGB 0798 8417 02
BIC: INGBNL2AXXX
REFERENZ: CMD-2575

Sobald die Zahlung erfolgt ist, senden Sie uns bitte eine Kopie oder einen Scan Ihrer Überweisungsbestellung, um Ihre Zahlung zu rechtfertigen, per E-Mail: moc.lavobad|troppus#moc.lavobad|troppus, um die Registrierung und den Versand Ihrer Bestellung so schnell wie möglich zu autorisieren.

DABOVAL BIKE - WWW.DABOVAL.COM

Strange a bank account in Holland for a Belgian company. How does a belgian judge have jurisdiction over a company that has a foreign bank account in case of problems?

A Troc-velo.com PRO account?

Daboval managed to get a PRO account on Troc-velo.com. I want to point here to the lack procedure on Troc-velo side to check if the PRO accounts they give away really point to real bike shops. I asked Troc-velo.com on Twitter, no reply so far. They will probably discard any responsability for helping scammers, as all other internet 'platforms' have been doing.

daboval-tweet-trocvelo.PNG

'Mother company' in Switzerland?

Daboval says the mother company is located in Switzerland. The address given on Troc-velo.com is "Zurichstrasse 1, 8180 Bulach". There is indeed a bike shop at that address, selling eBikes, but it belongs to Bike-base.ch. I have sent an email to Bike-base.ch, no answer so far.

Domi-bike.com

I found a second suspucious online bike shop also selling eBikes of the brands Lapierre, Ube, Moustache on Troc-velo.com (at the time of writing, the URL of Troc-velo.com stills responds, but the page is mostly blank, here is a copy from Google Cache):

domibike-trocvelo-800x.png

If you search for a bike shop at that address 'Westeindestraat 40, 9990 Maldegem', you will find a bike shop called "Domi-bike". Looking on Google Street View, the shop is selling Koga bikes, not Cube, nor Moustache, nor Lapierre.

domibike-moustache-800x.png

The phone number of the real bike shop is different. I called the bike shop, and the owner confirmed he does not have a website, only a Facebook page.

The phone number of the fake website is also using a Voxbone VoIP number.

Sourcing pictures from LaRoueLibre.fr

The scammers also hotlinked directly all the pictures of their bikes from other websites, such as larouelibre.fr, a well known bike shop in Nice, France. So when you visit domi-bikes.com, you also visit larouelibre.fr. I called LaRoueLibre in Nice, they don't seem to care about scammers websites using their pictures.

domibike-larouelibre-fr-nice.PNG

Who cares?

No one I contacted seem to care about those scammers:

  • brands don't care
  • second hand websites don't care
  • bike shops don't care
  • police don't care
  • banks don't care

I will udpate this page as time goes.