Over the last few weeks, there's been a wave of fake Lego websites pop up. Not fake as in selling counterfeit Lego. The sites carry the Lego brand, look very like the official Lego website, and claim to be selling official Lego merchandise at very discounted prices.
One popped up in my Facebook feed last week. Called 'Lego England', clicking the link brought up a website with a practically identical style to the official Lego website. It had a reduced number of items, but everything that was on there was half price or less. Including discontinued items, such as BrickHeadz Captain Phasma, which you can't get for love nor money in any retail store – unless you want to spend £30+ on eBay. Alas, this so-called 'Lego England' magically had them in stock for less than a fiver. Alarm bells.
I spotted it wasn't a legitimate site straight away, but unfortunately others weren't so lucky. A quick search on Facebook brings up some threads of unfortunate customers who've lost money in the hope of bagging a bargain. It seems the site never had any intention of sending anyone any Lego, counterfeit or otherwise. Rather, it just existed to steal money.
'Lego England' – which, thankfully, now seems to be offline – isn't the first site of its type out there, and it won't be the last either. Lego – the real, official one, that is – is aware of the issue, and via Brick Fanatics, shared the following statement:
We are aware of the existence of websites that mislead consumers in different ways and we take all of these incidents very seriously. While we cannot comment on our specific actions, what we can say is that when we are made aware of or observe any situation where consumers are misled and our intellectual rights are violated we always take the appropriate actions to protect consumers as well as our brand.
We believe that consumers should always be aware of when they are purchasing a genuine LEGO product and when they purchase something else – and they should not be misled during the process of purchase.
We are aware that it may be difficult to identify a fake website, but if in doubt, consumers can be certain that the official LEGO shop on www.shop.LEGO.com is genuine.
TL;DR? As with anything in life, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Lego is very rarely discounted to more than 20-25%, unless you stumble across a clearance bargain from legitimate shop. Stick to buying your Lego sets from Lego itself, or a genuine store.