Scam is now at record levels, and while there are sensible steps we can all take to protect ourselves, an unfair burden has been placed on the public.
Be part of us in calling on the government, regulators and companies to do more to safeguard us all from scams.
8 ways to spot a fake, fraudulent or scam site
It may be difficult to identify a fake, fraudulent or scam web site. Fraudsters are very cunning and good at creating convincing sites.
Take these eight easy methods to test whether or not a website is genuine or not.
Double-check the domain name
A great deal of fraudulent web sites make use of a domain name that references a well-known brand or item name. But will not be the official site.
For instance, site domains such as www.ipadoffers.net or www.discountnikeclothes.com should raise alarm bells.
You should also be cautious of domains that end in .net or .org, as they are rarely utilized for on-line shopping so may have been acquired by sketchy organisations.
Is the offer too good to become accurate?
When you see very low prices with outrageous discounts, you should be a bit suspicious. If prices appear too good to be true then, unfortunately, they probably are.
Scam sites use low costs to lure bargain-hungry shoppers to rapidly sell fake, counterfeit or non-existent items.
You can make use of our tips for recognizing a scam to help you determine if some thing is actually a good deal or merely a scam.
Never ever pay off by bank transfer
Alarm bells should ring if you are requested to pay out for some thing 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 have some rights to obtain your money back.
But if you pay off by bank transfer, there’s extremely small you are able to do to obtain your cash back.
Browse the web site
Take a few minutes to double-check the web site. Perhaps visit 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 don’t sound quite correct.
It could mean the site isn’t genuine and was put together by somebody abroad looking to generate a quick profit.
You need to also check that the web site lists any contact info.
Trustworthy and legitimate companies will always list methods to contact them; if the site does not have a ‘Contact us’ page, it could well be fake.
When the web site has ‘Contact us’ page but only offers a form to fill out, be wary as this could also be an indication of a dubious website.
Any company providing goods or services ought to list a location of business, also as a phone number or e-mail address via 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 company is selling a product on-line, it ought to have a shipping and returns policy listed on its web site.
If it is a real business, it ought to tell you how and exactly 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 consumer ratings.
Don’t take a look at just one review site – check out several 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 people are posting on their social channels.
Spot a fake review
Use our top tips 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 several websites.
Reading through reviews, you may notice a whole set that utilize similar word groupings and also writing style.
This usually indicates the reviewers are either copying information 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 website.
You may discover the individual has reviewed a huge selection of websites, which offers them much 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; do not trust a review if facts or actionable information is light on the ground.
Similarly, a review that provides no individual opinion at all may well be a fake – and in any case, it’s not an excellent deal of assistance.
4. Are you able to only find very few ratings?
Within this case, it is 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 consumer organisation, discovered that seven in 10 individuals say they’re more likely to make use of a web site which has 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 nations also not using them at all, they are not always a sound way of judging whether a site is trustworthy.
Also, just because a web site seems to carry the logo of a trustworthy trade organisation, it still does not necessarily mean the website is legitimate.
If you’re doubtful, 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 site’s URL – this is a handy method to see if a web site is reliable.
But this step should only be utilized in conjunction with other checks, just in case.
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