Scam 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 public.
Be part of us in calling on the government, regulators and companies to do more to guard us all from scams.
Eight ways to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam site
It can be difficult to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam site. Scammers are extremely cunning and good at creating convincing websites.
Take these 8 easy steps to test whether or not a site is authentic or not.
Double-check the website name
A great deal of fraudulent web sites will use a domain address that references a well-known brand or item name. But won’t be the official web site.
For instance, site domains such as www.ipadoffers.net or www.discountnikeclothes.com should raise alarm bells.
You should also be watchful of domains that conclude in .net or .org, as they are rarely utilized for online buying so may have been acquired by questionable organisations.
Is the offer too great to become true?
Whenever you see very low prices with ridiculous discounts, you should be a little suspicious. If prices seem too good to be true then, unfortunately, they most likely are.
Scam websites use low costs to lure bargain-hungry shoppers to quickly sell fake, counterfeit or non-existent items.
You are able to use our tips for spotting a scam to help you determine if something is actually a good deal or merely a scam.
Never pay by bank transfer
Alarm bells ought to ring in the event you are asked to pay for something on-line by way of a bank transfer.
In the event you buy something that turns out to be fake or non-existent with a credit or debit card, you have some rights to obtain your money back.
Nevertheless if you pay by bank transfer, there’s very little you can do to get your cash back.
Browse the site
Take a couple of minutes to double-check the web site. Maybe visit the homepage or the ‘About us’ pages and read through the text there.
Look out for poor English, like spelling and also grammar mistakes, or phrases that do not sound quite correct.
It could imply the website is not legitimate and was put together by somebody abroad looking to make a fast profit.
You should also check that the website lists any contact information.
Reputable and legitimate businesses will usually list methods to get in touch with them; if the web site doesn’t have a ‘Contact us’ page, it could well be fraudulent.
If the 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 site.
Any company providing goods or services should list a place of business, as well as a phone number or email address through which to get in touch with them.
If none of this info is available, you should treat the web site as highly suspicious.
Verify the returns policy
If the business is promoting a item on-line, it ought to have a shipping and returns policy listed on its site.
If it’s a real company, it ought to tell you how and where to return a faulty item.
Read through some on-line reviews
Take a look at reviews across a number of sources, like Trustpilot, Feefo or Sitejabber, which aggregate customer reviews.
Don’t take a look at just a single review site – check out numerous in order to avoid being influenced by .
You need to also verify the company’s social media pages for recent activity and to see what other individuals are posting on their social channels.
Identify a fake review
Make use of our top tips to identify a fake review:
1. Are there plenty of oddly very similar reviews?
It should be a red flag in the event you notice a similarity in the reviews across a number of websites.
Reading through reviews, you might notice a whole set that make use of similar word groupings and also writing style.
This usually indicates the reviewers are either copying information or that the reviews had been all written by the same person.
2. Are the reviewers all really new?
Watch 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 a huge selection of web sites, which offers them more credibility than someone who’s only reviewed a single website.
3. Is the review non-factual or very factual?
Facts are important in a review; don’t trust a review if facts or actionable information is light on the ground.
Similarly, 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 help.
4. Can you only find very few reviews?
Within this case, it’s probably perfect to give any suspicious website a miss.
Are you able to trust a trust mark?
Research carried out by ANEC, a European customer organisation, discovered that seven in ten individuals say they’re more likely to use a web site which has a trust-mark label or logo.
But with more than Fifty different trust-mark labels and logos in use all over Europe, and several nations also not utilizing them at all, they’re not always a sound way of judging whether a site is reputable.
Also, simply because a web site appears to carry the logo of a trustworthy trade organisation, it still doesn’t necessarily mean the site is legitimate.
If you’re doubtful, you could always get in touch with the trust-mark firm to check.
Search for a padlock
Most browers show a green padlock next to the site’s URL – this can be a handy way to see if a site is trustworthy.
However, this step ought to only be used in tandem with other checks, just in case.
For more information on Is Legit And Safe visit the website.