Every coin has two sides. Similarly with the good side of the web comes a dark side. Along with providing facilities to ease our work, the web also contains fake and fraudulent sites to cheat visitors. There are con artists, with inquisitive eyes, waiting for a single chance to make their move and steal you of everything. Be cautious and do not lose your money to such online fraudsters. It is very difficult to spot them and avoid falling into their traps, as they are masters in creating convincing websites. Here are a few tips to identify and at the same time, avoid fake, fraudulent and scam websites. We have a got a few ways for you to check the legitimacy of the website, and they go by these seven steps:
Most of the fake websites use a domain name that is somewhat similar to well-known brand or a product name. Although the name of the fake site will be similar to the official website name but will not be the same, so it should raise an alarming bell.
For better understanding, let us take an example:
|Original website||Fake website|
Also be cautious to surf websites with domain ending with ‘.net’ or ‘.org’ as they are rarely used for online shopping websites.
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Check for Suspicious Offers
Most of us get attracted towards heavy discounts and low price products but being apprehensive might save your money. There are chances that they are scammers who are trying to attract bargain-hungry shoppers. Do not fall into their traps.
Most of the fake websites will ask you to pay for products you have purchased via bank transfer. Avoid agreeing with this request because you will not be able to file a chargeback and there is a negligible chance of getting your money back, whereas if you pay with a credit or a debit card, you can file chargeback to get your money back.
Double Check the Site
Don’t just go for offers, double check the site before making any purchase. Check the ‘About us’ page, ‘Terms & condition’ page and ‘contact us’ page. Check whether the contact number provided is authentic, in case no contact information is provided; there are chances that the website is fraudulent. Do remember to check the content of the website; there are chances that the site was just uploaded to make quick money by fooling people. If the information such as business address, contact number, E-mail address is not provided, the better stay away from such websites.
There are a number of sources from where you can find customers review the site and products it sells. Few of the examples of such sources that provide aggregate customer reviews are Trust pilot and Feefo.
There are potential fake reviews, so do not simply rely on only one review website. Also, have a glance at the social media page of the company to see what are the recent posts and activities of that company.
There are 60-70% online shoppers who like to shop from sites with trust-mark logo. But it is possible that the website carrying the logo of any reputed organization is fake. To check the legitimacy of the site, you can contact the trust-mark logo company. If you are in doubt, it is better to give it a second thought, rather than ending up losing money.
Most of the genuine websites use SSL certificate to provide a high-level security to its visitor. Visual assurance is what a visitor prefers and believes in, such as:
(a) Green address bar
(b) Padlock on the address bar
(c) https:// (SSL certificate https://)