Fraud is now at record levels, and while you will find sensible actions we can all take to shield ourselves, an unjust burden has been placed on the public.
Join us in calling on the government, regulators and businesses to do much more to guard us all from scams.
8 methods to identify a fake, fraudulent or scam website
It may be hard to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam web site. Scammers are very cunning and great at making convincing web sites.
Take these 8 simple methods to test whether or not a site is legit or otherwise.
Double-check the domain name
A lot of fraudulent web sites make use of a domain name that references a well-known brand or product name. But will not be the official web site.
For instance, web site domains such as www.ipadoffers.net or www.discountnikeclothes.com should raise alarm bells.
You should also be watchful of domains that end in .net or .org, as they are seldom used for on-line shopping so may have been acquired by questionable organisations.
Will be the provide too great to be true?
Whenever you see extremely low prices with outrageous discounts, you should be a little suspicious. If prices seem too good to be true then, unfortunately, they most likely are.
Scam sites use low prices to lure bargain-hungry shoppers to quickly sell fake, counterfeit or non-existent products.
You can utilize our tips for spotting a scam to assist you determine if something is actually a great deal or simply a con.
Never pay by bank transfer
Alarm bells should ring if you are requested to pay out for something on-line by way of a bank transfer.
If you buy some thing that turns out to be fake or non-existent using a credit or debit card, you have some rights to obtain your cash back.
But in the event you pay off by bank transfer, there’s very little you are able to do to get your money back.
Browse the web site
Take a few minutes to double-check the web site. Perhaps go to the homepage or the ‘About us’ pages and read the text there.
Watch out for poor English, like spelling and grammar mistakes, or phrases that don’t sound fairly correct.
It might mean the website is not legitimate and was put together by someone abroad looking to make a fast profit.
You need to also check that the web site lists any contact information.
Reputable and reputable companies will usually list ways to contact them; when the site doesn’t have a ‘Contact us’ page, it could well be fraudulent.
If the website does have ‘Contact us’ page however only offers a form to fill out, be cautious as this could also be a sign of a dubious site.
Any business offering goods or services should list a location of business, also as a telephone number or e-mail address through which to contact them.
If none of this info is accessible, you should treat the web site as highly suspicious.
Verify the returns policy
If the company is selling a product online, it should have a shipping and returns policy listed on its web site.
If it is a legitimate business, it should let you know how and where to return a faulty item.
Go through some online reviews
Take a look at reviews across a number of sources, such as Trustpilot, Feefo or Sitejabber, which aggregate customer reviews.
Don’t look at just a single review website – check many in order to avoid being influenced by .
You need to also verify the company’s social media pages for recent activity and to determine what other people are posting on their social channels.
Spot a fake review
Employ our leading tricks to spot a fake review:
1. Are there plenty of oddly very similar reviews?
It ought to be a red flag in the event you see a similarity within the reviews across a number of websites.
Reading through reviews, you may notice a whole set that utilize similar word groupings and also writing style.
This often indicates the reviewers are either copying info or that the reviews were all written by the same individual.
2. Are the reviewers all really new?
Look out for reviews from new accounts. A few of the reviews should be from long-standing members from the site.
You may find the individual has reviewed a huge selection of websites, which gives them much more credibility than someone who’s only reviewed a single site.
3. Is the review non-factual or overly factual?
Facts are essential in a review; don’t trust a review if facts or actionable info is light on the ground.
Likewise, a review that gives no individual opinion at all may well be a fake – and in any case, it is not an excellent deal of help.
4. Are you able to only find very few reviews?
Within this case, it’s most likely best to provide any suspicious website a miss.
Can you trust a trust mark?
Research carried out by ANEC, an European consumer organisation, discovered that 7 in ten individuals say they’re more likely to make use of a site with a trust-mark label or logo.
However with more than Fifty various trust-mark labels and also logos in use throughout Europe, and a lot of countries also not using them at all, they are not always a sound way of judging whether or not a web site is trustworthy.
Also, just because a website appears to carry the logo of a reputable trade organisation, it nonetheless doesn’t necessarily mean the site is genuine.
If you’re in doubt, you could always get in touch with the trust-mark firm to verify.
Look for a padlock
The majority of browers show a green padlock next to the site’s URL – this can be a handy way to see if a web site is trusted.
However, this step should only be utilized in tandem with other checks, just in case.
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