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The owners would siphon a 12 per cent charge (including VAT) from trader profits for providing this service.

When Karen Scrace, 49, who had a dress agency, complained she had not received her deposit back, Mathew sent a copy of a BACS transfer as proof of payment.

But closer inspection of the document raised suspicions and the bank it is supposed to have come from told The Mail on Sunday it has reason to believe it is not genuine.

J&N Wray continues to trade via the Altrincham branch and a similar outlet in nearby Sale, but it is also subject to a company voluntary arrangement – put in place in 2011 to help a company repay a list of creditors.

Another trader, who wishes to remain anonymous, has secured a county court judgment against J&N Wray through the small claims court.

But she will bear the cost of chasing payment and is standing behind a list of other creditors owed money.

Ordering from unestablished online companies or auction websites can be risky.

If what you ordered fails to meet the description given when sold, is damaged or has not turned up, the law states you are entitled to a refund.

But it is hard to get this if the seller refuses or has disappeared.

Figures from fraud data company CIFAS show that this type of fraud accounts for nearly half of all reported cases in the first three months of this year.

There were nearly 130,000 victims of identity-related fraud in 2013.

Your credit score can be damaged as a result – a score that is used by banks and building societies to determine whether you are a safe bet to lend to.

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