Pipe smokers beware! Do not place orders with SmokerPipe.com. They are a scam site.
This site was first brought to our attention by Greg Pease calling in the report after-hours last night. Upon further investigation, we found that pipe maker Rad Davis posted the following on Facebook.
"WARNING!!! This is a scam website. They’ve pirated Smokingpipes and Smoker’s Haven to create their site. They don’t have the pipes listed. All seem to be lifted from Smokingpipes.com."
They have obviously copied the design of http://www.smokershaven.com/. The scam site is on the left with the legit site on the right. (Click the photos for actual size screen captures.)
The domain is registered to a Chinese company and hosted by a California company. The hosting company lists an email address for DMCA complaints, but they do not even have a legally compliant DMCA notice, as they need to have a physical address and person’s name along with other information that they do not list. All they have is an email address.
Here is an excerpt of their DMCA notice found here: http://www.dcsmanage.com/knowledgebase.php?action=displayarticle&id=2
B. Reporting Copyright Violations. DCS Pacific Star, LLC. (www.dcsmanage.com) complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"). DCS Pacific Star, LLC. (www.dcsmanage.com) encourages Users to report an alleged copyright infringement involving a user by sending a notice to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The current ip address of the site is: 188.8.131.52. The domain is new, having been registered on June 1, 2011.
The Whois registration info says the domain is owned by Xing Cheng of Xiamen, Fujian, China. Email contact is listed as email@example.com. The phone number is: +86.15985850830.
Here is a screen capture of the full Whois information in case it becomes hidden in the future.
We had this article ready to go by 7:30 am EDT, but were holding it waiting for comments from a few pipe makers, SmokingPipes.com and Smoker’s Haven.
We have not received comments yet, and it appears that complaints about the site have already been filed and it has been taken down within the last hour or so. It’s nice when things work the way they are supposed to and the good guys win in the end.
July 8, 1:15 p.m. | Updated A previous version of this article stated that the site was already down. At the time it was, but this was apparently temporary. As of 1:15 pm EDT, the site is up. We also have some comments that have come in …
Sykes Wilford, SmokingPipes.com – We have filed a DMCA notice and reported them to Verisign for misuse of their seal.
Adam Davidson, Adam Davidson Design – It’s a total copy. Pipes are one of a kind, as you know, yet they have the same listings as smokingpipes. I saw something like this earlier, actually. Might even be the same site. The listed all of the brands from smokingpipes and all of the pipes too. You could find a Jess for cheap. Not sure if people can actually use any cards, but there is some sort of pirate out there, for sure. Do your best to break ’em.
Brad Pohlmann, Pohlmann Pipes – All these pipes have been sold. Those are not my prices. Whoever is doing this is perpetrating fraud.
We have also found evidence around the web that this site operator spams forums and blogs with their links. Even our own site, PipesMazazine.com received spam comment with links to another site owned by the same person.
AVOID this site too. It is the same ownership, same host, same ip address: http://www.tobaccopipeshop.com/
They’ve done it again, copying another site. The legit site they copied is http://www.eacarey.co.uk/
On one of our visits to the site, we received a McAfee warning as shown below.
The ip address shown in the warning is different than the site’s ip, but it is still originating in China, and could be embedded in the code. There is a possibility that they are not only trying to steal money by making illegitimate sales of non-existent merchandise, but they may be trying to implant Trogans or Viruses to their site visitors to steal their personal and financial information.
Stay tuned to PipesMagazine.com for future updates.
July 11, 1:30 p.m. | Updated The two sites have been taken down by their hosting company.
August 1, 11:00 a.m. | Updated The sites are back up. We are calling on all readers to email their DNS provider with complaints about both of the sites; http://www.smokerpipe.com/ andhttp://www.tobaccopipeshop.com/. One of our readers emailed them with no results, but if everyone emails them, then maybe we can get these sites taken down for good. Email complaints to: firstname.lastname@example.org