Scam is now at record levels, and whilst there are sensible actions we are able to all take to protect ourselves, an unjust burden has been placed on the public.
Work with us in calling on the government, regulators and businesses to do much more to guard us all from scams.
8 ways to identify a fake, fraudulent or scam web site
It can be hard to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam site. Criminals are very cunning and great at creating convincing sites.
Take these eight simple steps to test whether or not a site is authentic or not.
Double-check the domain address
A great deal of fraudulent websites make use of a domain name that references a well-known brand or item name. But will not be the official website.
For example, web site domains like www.ipadoffers.net or www.discountnikeclothes.com ought to raise alarm bells.
You need to also be cautious of domains that conclude in .net or .org, as they’re seldom used for online shopping so may have been obtained by dubious organisations.
Is the offer too good to be accurate?
Whenever you see extremely low prices with outrageous discounts, you ought to be a bit suspicious. If prices seem too great to be true then, unfortunately, they most likely are.
Scam sites use low costs to lure bargain-hungry shoppers to quickly sell fake, counterfeit or non-existent products.
You can utilize our tips for recognizing a scam to assist you determine if something is really a great deal or simply a scam.
Never ever pay by bank transfer
Alarm bells ought to ring in the event you are asked to pay out for some thing online via a bank transfer.
In the event you buy some thing that turns out to be fake or non-existent using a credit or debit card, you do have some rights to get your money back.
Nevertheless in the event you pay off by bank transfer, there’s extremely little you are able to do to obtain your money back.
Browse the website
Take a couple of minutes to double-check the site. Perhaps visit the homepage or the ‘About us’ pages and read the text there.
Watch out for poor English, like spelling as well as grammar mistakes, or phrases that do not sound fairly correct.
It could imply the site is not genuine and was put together by somebody abroad seeking to make a quick profit.
You should also check that the site lists any contact information.
Trustworthy and legitimate businesses will usually list methods to contact them; when the website does not possess a ‘Contact us’ page, it could well be fake.
When the web site does have ‘Contact us’ page but only offers a form to fill out, be wary as this could also be an indication of a dubious web site.
Any company providing goods or services should list a place of company, as well as a telephone number or email address through which to get in touch with them.
If none of this info is available, you need to treat the web site as highly suspicious.
Verify the returns policy
If the company is promoting a product online, it should possess a shipping and returns policy listed on its website.
If it is a legitimate company, it ought to tell you how and exactly where to return a faulty item.
Read through some internet reviews
Look at reviews across numerous sources, like Trustpilot, Feefo or Sitejabber, which aggregate consumer reviews.
Don’t look at just one review website – check numerous to avoid being influenced by .
You need to also verify the company’s social media pages for current activity and to determine what other individuals are posting on their social channels.
Identify a fake review
Employ our leading tricks to identify a fake review:
1. Are there lots of oddly similar reviews?
It ought to be a red flag if you see a similarity in the reviews across a number of web sites.
Reading through reviews, you might notice a whole set that use similar word groupings and also writing style.
This usually means the reviewers are either copying info or that the reviews had been all written by the same individual.
2. Are the reviewers all really new?
Watch out for reviews from new accounts. Some of the reviews should be from long-standing members of the website.
You may discover the individual has reviewed hundreds of web sites, which offers them more credibility than someone who’s only reviewed a single site.
3. Is the review non-factual or overly factual?
Facts are important in a review; don’t trust a review if facts or actionable information is light on the ground.
Likewise, a review that provides no personal opinion at all may well be a fake – and in any case, it’s not a great deal of help.
4. Are you able to only find very few ratings?
In this case, it’s most likely perfect to provide any suspicious site a miss.
Are you able to trust a trust mark?
Research carried out by ANEC, an European customer organisation, found that seven in ten individuals say they’re more likely to make use of a website with a trust-mark label or logo.
However with more than 50 various trust-mark labels as well as logos in use across Europe, and several countries also not utilizing them at all, they’re not always a sound way of judging whether or not a site is trustworthy.
Also, simply because a website seems to carry the logo of a reputable trade organisation, it still doesn’t necessarily mean the site is legitimate.
If you’re in doubt, you could always contact the trust-mark firm to verify.
Look for a padlock
Most browers show a green padlock next to the website’s URL – this can be a handy method to see if a web site is reliable.
However, this step ought to only be utilized in tandem with other checks, just in case.
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