About Vistalworks


Vistalworks helps consumers actively avoid buying fake, illicit and dangerous goods online. We’ve developed technology that greatly reduces the risk that shoppers will become a victim of fraud and illicit trade, with software that warns online shoppers of potential high risk purchases before they buy. Our mission is to reduce the financial, social & human costs of illicit trade by enabling consumers to make safer online purchase choices.

The company was founded by three highly experienced Scotland-based entrepreneurs in response to a competitive public innovation challenge: can technology help reduce consumer demand for illicit goods? You can watch our Demo Day launch video here. Our winning concept was developed in conjunction with Police Scotland, HMRC and Trading Standards Scotland, who now use our commercial solution.

We are actively seeking EU-wide public services, commercial and financial services partners to ensure our technology has the maximum reach in reducing the community, social and financial impact of illicit trade - please get in touch!



Vicky Brock, CEO, is a serial technology entrepreneur. She co-founded Vistalworks after her quest to find a particularly desirable pair of Converse trainers resulted in her card details being stolen by online scammers.

“With my eyes opened to the prevalence of fakes, scams and illicit goods online, and to have fallen for something that at the time just wasn’t on my radar, I felt determined to use my skills to make it possible for anyone to check the legitimacy of a product or seller before a purchase, and so reduce risk and inconvenience in future.”

Previously Vicky founded Clear Returns, a retail technology firm named Top Tech Startup In Europe by the European Commission. She was named Scotland’s Most Inspiring Business Person at the Entrepreneurial Scotland Awards 2017, is a Women’s Enterprise Scotland Ambassador and sits on the Board of several non-profits and technology companies.

Vicky won Innovator of the Year at the 2014 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards, was named by Forbes.com as one of the 9 top female tech CEOs to watch, and as one of Computer Weekly’s Top 50 Women in IT.


Alan Murray, COO, is highly experienced in the data technology business and a Board Director and Mentor to several social enterprises in Scotland.

“Working with vulnerable communities, I have seen the harm that is done through lack of access to legitimate opportunities and products that many of us take for granted. Enabling communities to reduce the impact of illicit trade, much of it linked to organised crime, seemed like a way to use my technology and data skills for real social good.”

During his career with Wood Mackenzie and EY, Alan has built multiple multi-million-pound businesses by harnessing the power of diverse data sets and translating those into actionable information for end users. He has worked with diverse corporate and government stakeholders across complex and costly projects.

As a Managing Director and Vice President of Corporate Development, Alan has led product development and creation, joint ventures and partnering, M&A (including leading 3 closed deals) and post acquisition integration.



Stephen Budd, Chief Product Officer, has had his fingers burned with poor quality fakes that fall apart after just a few wears. He was sure their must be a way to use data analytics and machine learning to take some of the guesswork away from his online purchase decisions, and help him to steer clear of shoddy fakes.

“The problem of illicit goods is something that can affect us all and in ways that range from the banal to the terrifying. While I have been scammed, my 'a-ha' moment came when I realised someone I had been doing business with had been personally and deeply affected by a terrorist attack which had been funded by the sale of illicit tobacco.

I consider myself to be privileged to help found a company that will help target the harm inflicted by this so-called 'victimless’ crime."

Stephen is an entrepreneurial, user-focused Chief of Product who has created and delivered innovative data-driven products ranging from retail analytics to medtech and cybersecurity. At both Clear Returns and Zonefox he worked to develop and deliver rules-based scoring systems that detected undesirable anomalous behaviour.


If you’re interested in working with us commercially, or having a version of the checker embedded in your campaign, community or public services website, please contact vicky@vistalworks.com

We’re hiring! We’re growing our Edinburgh and Glasgow based data analytics, software engineering, user experience and marketing teams - if you are an individual who’d like to find out more, please get in touch by email or LinkedIn.