A suspected scam store, featuring hard-to-find gadgets priced below the norm, topped Google search results for days.
MyTechDomestic accepted payments via direct bank transfers only – despite indicating support for credit cards and PayPal – and falsely claimed to be owned by a UK-registered company.
It was flagged to Google last week but the US company took action only after being contacted by BBC News on Monday.
The site’s operator did not respond to several requests for comment.
However, the platform went offline shortly after BBC News asked for a response to customers’ claims it amounted to a “scam”.
Action Fraud – the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime – is looking into the matter after receiving a complaint from a member of the public.
“Given the large numbers of people who view these adverts, Google should move much more quickly in response to reports of scams, and be proactive about vetting them to help prevent people losing money to fraudsters,” Which? Computing editor Kate Bevan said.
MyTechDomestic’s website was registered with a Canadian domain registrar on 19 April.
It was subsequently promoted via ads bought from Google’s Shopping service, meaning its listings featured a “By Google” tag when they appeared within its search results.
By late last week, the site was top billed for several gadgets sold out or priced at a premium elsewhere.
These ads appeared at the top of Google’s mobile search results and to the side of some desktop searches.
The products included:
the Oculus Quest virtual-reality headset, 64GB edition
the Fortnite edition of the Sony PlayStation 4
Reebok’s GX40S cross-trainer