Fraud is now at record levels, and whilst there are sensible steps we can all take to shield ourselves, an unjust burden has been placed on the general public.
Join us in calling on the government, regulators and businesses to do much more to protect us all from scams.
Eight ways to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam site
It may be hard to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam site. Criminals are very cunning and great at creating convincing websites.
Take these 8 easy ways to test whether or not a web site is legit or not.
Double-check the domain name
A lot of fraudulent websites will use a domain address that references a well-known brand or item name. But won’t be the official website.
For instance, web site domains such as www.ipadoffers.net or www.discountnikeclothes.com should raise alarm bells.
You need to also be cautious of domains that end in .net or .org, as they’re seldom utilized for on-line shopping so might have been acquired by dubious organisations.
Will be the offer too great to become true?
When you see extremely low prices with ridiculous discounts, you ought to be a bit suspicious. If prices appear too great to be true then, regrettably, they most likely are.
Scam sites use low prices to lure bargain-hungry shoppers to rapidly sell fake, counterfeit or non-existent items.
You can utilize our tips for recognizing a scam to assist you identify if some thing is actually a good deal or merely a scam.
Never pay by bank transfer
Alarm bells should ring in the event you are asked to pay out for something online by way of a bank transfer.
If you buy something that turns out to be fake or non-existent using a credit or debit card, you have some rights to obtain your money back.
But in the event you pay by bank transfer, there’s very small you can do to get your money back.
Browse the site
Take a few minutes to double-check the website. Maybe go to the homepage or the ‘About us’ pages and go through the text there.
Look out for poor English, like spelling as well as grammar mistakes, or phrases that do not sound fairly right.
It could imply the website isn’t genuine and was put together by someone abroad seeking to generate a fast profit.
You should also verify that the site lists any contact info.
Trustworthy and reputable businesses will always list methods to contact them; if the website does not possess a ‘Contact us’ page, it may well be bogus.
If the site does have ‘Contact us’ page but only provides a form to fill out, be wary as this could also be a signal of a dubious website.
Any business providing goods or services should list a location of company, as well as a telephone number or email address through which to contact them.
If none of this information is accessible, you should treat the site as extremely suspicious.
Verify the returns policy
When the business is selling a product online, it should possess a shipping and returns policy listed on its web site.
If it’s a real company, it ought to tell you how and exactly where to return a faulty item.
Go through some web based reviews
Look at reviews across a number of sources, like Trustpilot, Feefo or Sitejabber, which aggregate consumer reviews.
Don’t take a look at just a single review site – check a number of in order to avoid being influenced by .
You should also verify the company’s social media pages for recent activity and to see what other people are posting on their social channels.
Identify a fake review
Make use of our leading tricks to spot a fake review:
1. Are there plenty of oddly very similar reviews?
It ought to be a red flag if you notice a similarity in the reviews across several sites.
Reading through reviews, you may notice a whole set that use similar word groupings and writing style.
This usually indicates the reviewers are either copying information or that the reviews were all written by the same person.
2. Are the reviewers all very new?
Look out for reviews from new accounts. A few of the reviews ought to be from long-standing members from the site.
You might discover the person has reviewed hundreds of websites, which gives them much more credibility than someone who’s only reviewed one 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 information is light on the ground.
Likewise, a review that gives no personal opinion at all might well be a fake – and in any case, it’s not a great deal of assistance.
4. Can you only find very few reviews?
In this case, it is probably perfect to give any suspicious web site a miss.
Can you trust a trust mark?
Research carried out by ANEC, an European customer organisation, discovered that 7 in 10 people say they’re more likely to use a web site with a trust-mark label or logo.
However with more than Fifty various trust-mark labels as well as 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 a site is reliable.
Also, simply because a site appears to carry the logo of a reputable trade organisation, it nonetheless doesn’t necessarily imply the site is legitimate.
If you’re doubtful, you can always get in touch with the trust-mark firm to check.
Search for a padlock
A lot of browers show a green padlock next to the web site’s URL – this is a handy way to see if a web site is trusted.
But this step ought to only be used in conjunction with other checks, just in case.
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