Claims of fraud deflate Chain Reaction Cycles

Bitterwallet - Chain Reaction CyclesCyclists! A word in your shell-like, please - if you've placed an order with Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC) in the past month or so, you need to check your bank account statements for suspicious activity, after a rash of reports from customers that their details have been used by fraudsters.

Since the beginning of the month, several forums have seen posts from CRC customers claiming they've been the victims of scammers after placing orders through the site; the initial amounts taken are usually very small - £10 or £15 spent on mobile top-up cards (usually O2) - although some allege that several hundred pounds has been taken from their account.

The volume of activity on the BikeRadar, MoreDirt and Singletrack, forums suggests the problem is more widespread than a handful of isolated incidents.

A statement on SouthernDownhill forums from CRC states:

So far, we have been contacted by customers who purchased in February and the beginning of March. The contacts we have had both directly and via forums equates to under 0.1% of on-line orders placed In that same time period.

However, we understand that for those effected this is of great concern and as we take our customer's security extremely seriously we are taking all the steps we can to understand what has happened.

CRC say a 'full forensic investigation' is currently been carried out by 'one the UKs leading internet security companies'. Worryingly, despite the significant number of complaints and alleged instances of fraud published across several forums, CRC say the investigation has so far uncovered no evidence of any breach.

Any customers who think they've been affected by fraud should contact CRC on 02893 343 758 or email [email protected]

Thanks to avid Bitterwallet reader Tim


  • Ashsufc
    Just mentioned this to a couple of cycling buddies in the office, and BOTH have been scammed very recently...BOTH after purcahses from Chain Reaction Cycles. Thanks for the info BW...
  • The B.
    I've never understood why companies force you to store your card details, it's a massive security risk, okay it's a pain to type them in all the time but less of pain than having to fill in all of the forms to report a fraudulent claim and waiting for a refund.
  • The B.
    Hmm, although if this is based on recent orders then it's more likely sniffing/piggybacking rather than db hacking.
  • Codify
    Yep, never select the option for the retailer to store your card details, even the big companies can't be trusted to use even the most basic of security tactics to protect the data against hackers
  • TimB
    Thanks for this - I had my card scammed after ordering from them too. I'd been placing the blame at a telephone order to Dominos, but looks like they're in the clear now.
  • Alex B.
    Sounds familiar; my gf was notified by Lush that her card details had been taken after their website was hacked. Shortly afterwards, two fraudulent transactions of £15 with O2 had been made. According to her bank, O2 are a somewhat notorious place for fraudsters to use their stolen card details!
  • TimB
    Fair play to CRC - when I told them that I was affected by this, they got back to me with an explaination of what happened, and a £30 voucher to tempt me back.
  • Rachel T.
    My credit card details were used to buy 02 top ups after placing orders with chain reaction cycles. Rachel
  • jamie
    well so far as i know CRC DO NOT store card details as i have to enter them every time i sue them - i have used them for years, had no probs and hope to continue that way.
  • Heather
    My account was debited 2 x £15 for top ups after purchasing with chain reaction cycles
  • Caroline
    Just found this article on the web and interestingly I was contacted by my credit card company to cancel my card as a precaution at arond the same time (end Feb/early March), advising that a company I ordered from over the web had reported that credit card details had been put at risk. This now explains which company it was! Fortunately I have not had any fraudulent transactions on my account. I have used CRC for many years, never experienced any problems and always found them to be value for money, quick delivery and very reliable. I will continue to use them in the future.
  • John
    It's against the law to store credit card details, well the 3 digets on the back. A hacker can't use the cards if they didn't - all very dodgy.
  • Ben
    Very interesting! I made fairly recent purchases with CRC. Had 2 x £15 O2 transactions in March, 3 x £20 vodafone transactions in April and then a rather more disconcerting £5500 fraudulent online transaction at the beginning of May (fortunately reimbursed by the bank). I'll be contacting CRC ASAP!
  • Kev W.
    I think the comments about O2 may be related to the pre-pay "credit" card that O2 issue. If you can take small amounts from lots of CRC purchasers it might not be noticed, and who would follow up on £10-£15/
  • Bobby w.
    go to the shop and i'm going with the guess that it's the bloke who's on his mobile!
  • steve
    I cant help feeling like CRC have become the victim of one or any combination of a hacker or devious employee, people jumping to conclusions, or an attack on their business in the form of an accusation, entirely unfounded accusations can ruin a business without anyone even looking into where or who it came from, it couldve been slander.
  • P H.
    I have every confidence in CRC to deal with this problem, give them time. I have been a CRC Ltd, customer for a while, i have always been very happy with service and prices.
  • Brian
    I was told yesterday about this problem. I placed 5 orders with CRC between the end Jan and the 3rd March. Between the 4th and 6th March I lost £1,300 in a single fraudulent transaction from my account and my bank stopped two others totaling £1,120. Fortunately, I too was reimbursed by the bank. I am now contacting CRC with all the information I have.
  • jamie
    i have recently used CRC about a month ago and added up to about 25 pounds i have had no more money taken out of my account since, personly i am very happy with CRC and will be buying many more things from them :)
  • Richard
    It happens. Facts of modern life I'm afraid. My card's been done before. Credit card companies normally refund you if you haven't been negligent, Wouldn't put me off buying from them as I reckon they are pretty good alround.
  • Lea
    Same problem I am afraid. Barclays refunded everything and were great. Initially £20 via mobile top ups (T-mobile), then £50 x3 via National Express, £85 to DVLA and then a huge one to Kays Catalogue for £900 that was stopped. Not good at all and not good press for CRC. But, as many people have pointed out - (sh)it happens.
  • jonny
    sounds to me like someone in charge of the online orders is using the details to top their own phone up, they wont be a hacker, a company wouldnt admit one of their staff was robbing costomers, its bad for buisness
  • chris
    I normally pay using paypal is this affected?
  • Mike
    @chris I always use paypal with CRC too (it saves typing addresses, storing cards and remembering passwords) The good news is Paypal transactions are safe from this as CRC never get the card details, they just get the cash to an email from Paypal. Phew....
  • andrew p.
    back in febuary this year my card was cloned after using chain reaction and they spent £700 on online gambling and topping up 02 phone full refund from my bank and £50 gift of chain reaction
  • dan g.
    Card cloned on two occasions after separate purchases from Chain Reaction. Both times small mobile phone top ups were bought, 10 to 15 pounds.
  • grtaeme h.
    I lost £15 on 2 seperate occasions. my debit card details were used to buy o2 phone top ups. my bank has reimbursed charges I incurred but not £30 I lost
  • Rich
    Anyone heard of any recent clonings? just had £2k put on my card. I've shopped at CRC a fair bit, but not had any fraudulent activity until last week.
  • Vic
    Couldn't work out why I had suddenly had my card stopped. Then found out someone had tried to set up a £50 monthly debit to an Irish furniture company. Seems to me this could be the answer.
  • OnFoot
    Are there major problems at Chain Reaction Cycles? Are they bankrupt? I am waiting for an order but have had no confirmation of a delivery time and they do not answer emails nor the telephone. I keep trying to contact them but without success. Help! Has anyone heard that Chain Reaction Cycles is going into administration?
  • dominos c.
    hi!,I like your writing very so much! percentage we keep up a correspondence extra approximately your article on AOL? I need a specialist in this house to solve my problem. May be that is you! Taking a look forward to peer you.
  • RayG
    Is this still happening? My bank said, today (15 months after the article above) that my card had been compromised because of fraud involving a purchase at CRC.

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