Scams is now at record levels, and while you will find sensible steps we can all take to protect ourselves, an unjust burden has been placed on the general public.
Be part of us in calling on the government, regulators and businesses to do much more to safeguard us all from scams.
Eight methods to identify a fake, fraudulent or scam site
It may be difficult to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam website. Criminals are very cunning and great at making convincing web sites.
Take these eight simple ways to test whether or not a web site is authentic or not.
Double-check the domain address
A lot of fraudulent websites will use a domain address that references a well-known brand or item name. But will not be the official website.
For example, website domains such as www.ipadoffers.net or www.discountnikeclothes.com should raise alarm bells.
You should also be mindful of domains that end in .net or .org, as they are rarely utilized for online shopping so might have been acquired by questionable organisations.
Is the offer too good to be true?
Whenever you see extremely low prices with outrageous discounts, you should be a bit suspicious. If costs appear too great to be true then, sadly, they most likely are.
Scam websites use low costs to lure bargain-hungry shoppers to rapidly sell fake, counterfeit or non-existent products.
You are able to make use of our suggestions for recognizing a scam to assist you determine if something is really a good deal or simply a scam.
Never pay by bank transfer
Alarm bells should ring if you are requested to pay for something on the internet via a bank transfer.
In the event you purchase some thing that turns out to be fake or non-existent with a credit or debit card, you actually have some rights to get your money back.
Nevertheless in the event you pay by bank transfer, there’s very little you are able to do to get your cash back.
Browse the website
Take a few minutes to double-check the site. Perhaps go to 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 quite correct.
It may mean the website isn’t genuine and was put together by somebody abroad seeking to generate a fast profit.
You need to also verify that the web site lists any contact info.
Reputable and reputable businesses will always list methods to contact them; if the website does not possess a ‘Contact us’ page, it may well be fake.
If the site has ‘Contact us’ page however only provides a form to fill out, be cautious as this could also be a signal of a dubious website.
Any business providing goods or services ought to list a place of company, also as a phone number or e-mail address through which to contact them.
If none of this info is available, you need to treat the web site as highly suspicious.
Check the returns policy
If the company is promoting a product on-line, it should have a shipping and returns policy listed on its site.
If it’s a real business, it ought to tell you how and where to return a faulty item.
Read through some web based reviews
Take a look at reviews across numerous sources, like Trustpilot, Feefo or Sitejabber, which aggregate customer reviews.
Do not look at just one review site – check out several to avoid being influenced by .
You should also check the company’s social media pages for recent activity and to see what other individuals are posting on their social channels.
Spot a fake review
Employ our top tips to spot 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 several sites.
Reading through reviews, you might notice a whole set that utilize similar word groupings as well as writing style.
This usually indicates the reviewers are either copying info 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. Some of the reviews ought to be from long-standing members of the site.
You might discover the individual has reviewed a huge selection of web sites, which offers them much more credibility than somebody who’s only reviewed one 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 info 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 is not a great deal of help.
4. Can you only find very few ratings?
In this case, it is most likely perfect to provide any suspicious web site a miss.
Are you able to trust a trust mark?
Investigation carried out by ANEC, a European customer organisation, discovered that 7 in ten people say they’re more likely to make use of a web site with a trust-mark label or logo.
However with more than Fifty different trust-mark labels and also logos in use throughout Europe, and many nations also not making use of them at all, they’re not always a sound way of judging whether or not a website is reputable.
Also, simply because a web site appears to carry the logo of a reputable trade organisation, it still doesn’t necessarily imply the site is legitimate.
If you are doubtful, you can always contact the trust-mark firm to verify.
Search for a padlock
The majority 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 reliable.
However, this step ought to only be used in tandem with other checks, in case.
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