Scam is now at record levels, and while there are sensible actions we are able to all take to protect ourselves, an unfair burden has been placed on the general public.
Join us in calling on the government, regulators and companies to do more to protect us all from scams.
Eight ways to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam website
It may be hard to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam site. Scammers are extremely cunning and good at making convincing websites.
Take these 8 simple methods to test whether a site is genuine or not.
Double-check the domain name
A great deal of fraudulent sites will make use of a domain address that references a well-known brand or product name. But will not be the official site.
For instance, website domains such as www.ipadoffers.net or www.discountnikeclothes.com should raise alarm bells.
You should also be careful of domains that end in .net or .org, as they are rarely used for online buying so may have been acquired by sketchy organisations.
Will be the offer too great to be accurate?
Whenever you see extremely low costs with outrageous discounts, you should be a bit suspicious. If costs appear too great to be true then, regrettably, they most likely are.
Scam web sites use low costs to lure bargain-hungry shoppers to rapidly sell fake, counterfeit or non-existent products.
You are able to use our suggestions for spotting a scam to assist you identify if something is actually a great deal or merely a scam.
Never pay off by bank transfer
Alarm bells ought to ring if you are asked to pay for something on the internet via a bank transfer.
If 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 cash back.
However in the event you pay off by bank transfer, there’s very little you are able to do to get your cash back.
Browse the website
Take a couple of minutes to double-check the website. Perhaps visit the homepage or the ‘About us’ pages and read the text there.
Look out for poor English, such as spelling and also grammar mistakes, or phrases that do not sound fairly correct.
It may imply the website isn’t genuine and was put together by someone abroad looking to make a quick profit.
You need to also verify that the site lists any contact information.
Trustworthy and legitimate businesses will usually list methods to get in touch with them; when the web site does not have a ‘Contact us’ page, it may well be fake.
If the site has ‘Contact us’ page but only provides a form to fill out, be cautious as this could also be a signal of a dubious web site.
Any company providing goods or services ought to list a place of company, as well as a phone number or email address through which to contact them.
If none of this information is accessible, you should treat the site as highly suspicious.
Check the returns policy
When the business is selling a item online, it should have a shipping and returns policy listed on its web site.
If it is a genuine company, it ought to let you know how and where to return a faulty item.
Read some web based reviews
Take a look at reviews across numerous sources, such as Trustpilot, Feefo or Sitejabber, which aggregate consumer reviews.
Do not look at just one review website – check a number of to avoid being influenced by .
You should also verify the company’s social media pages for recent activity and to determine what other people are posting on their social channels.
Identify a fake review
Make use of our top tricks to identify a fake review:
1. Are there lots of oddly similar reviews?
It should be a red flag in the event you notice a similarity within the reviews across a number of websites.
Reading through reviews, you may notice a whole set that utilize similar word groupings as well as writing style.
This often means the reviewers are either copying information or that the reviews had been all written by exactly the same person.
2. Are the reviewers all really new?
Look out for reviews from new accounts. Some of the reviews should be from long-standing members of 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 overly factual?
Facts are important in a review; do not 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 is not a great deal of help.
4. Can you only find very few reviews?
In this case, it’s probably perfect to provide any suspicious website a miss.
Can you trust a trust mark?
Investigation carried out by ANEC, a European customer organisation, discovered that seven in ten individuals say they’re much more likely to use a website with a trust-mark label or logo.
However with more than Fifty different trust-mark labels as well as logos in use all over Europe, and many countries also not making use of them at all, they are not always a sound way of judging whether a website is reliable.
Also, simply because a website appears to carry the logo of a trustworthy trade organisation, it still does not necessarily imply the website is legitimate.
If you’re in doubt, you can always contact the trust-mark company to check.
Look for a padlock
A lot of browers show a green padlock next to the web site’s URL – this is a handy method to see if a website is reliable.
However this step ought to only be utilized in tandem with other checks, in case.
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