Tips To Check A Fraudulent Website/App
The frequency of online scams increases in tandem with the growing power of the internet. Online fraud comes in many forms, from fake investment opportunities to deceptive stores, cyber-criminals can work anonymously from anywhere in the world. As the internet impacts more sectors of our daily lives, knowing how to recognize and avoid online frauds is crucial. Using the following tips, you can determine whether or not a website is legitimate.
1. When Something Seems Too Good To Be True
When something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
It’s human nature to be enticed by a sweet deal when shopping online. A new iPhone for half the price or a Gucci handbag? Really, who could pass up such a bargain? Scam artists are aware of this, and they often exploit it.
Any time you find a bargain on the internet that seems too good to be true, you should proceed with caution. The simplest method to do this is to view the product in question on multiple sites (that you trust). If the price gap is noticeable, you should do some additional research right away.
2. (Mis)Used Brand Names
Many fraudulent online stores use well-known brand names (Adidas, Chanel, Apple) in conjunction with search engine optimization keywords such as “discount,” “cheap,” “sale,” and “free” to attract potential customers. Luxury companies almost never have sales or provide significant discounts on their wares. In a similar fashion, legitimate online retailers stock products from a variety of manufacturers and not just one.
3. Check the Website Address
There are fake versions of well-known brand websites that attempt to fool visitors into believing they are affiliated with the real companies. Examine the domain name (the address of the website) to make sure it matches what you expect, particularly if you followed a link. For instance, while brand.com is the correct domain name for the company, brand.net, brand.org, brand.xyz, brand.biz, brand.online, and so on may all be used by imposters.
Confusions remain? Using a search engine to locate the website in question is a quick and simple option. Clicking on a direct link is how fraud sites usually get visitors, as they typically don’t appear highly in search engine results. Instead of clicking on a link in an email, always go to the site directly using the address bar. This will help ensure that you are not tricked into visiting a malicious website.
Do you see the letters “https” before the website’s URL, and a “lock” icon in your browser’s address bar? In this case, the web store’s contact with your browser is encrypted, making online shopping a little bit safer. Though adding an SSL certificate (required to secure contact) is cheap (starting at €4.99 per year), and still, this is in no way a guarantee that the online store is legitimate.
4. Check the Website/Domain Age
The website’s age can be determined by using a free domain age checker tool (There are many in the market, free to use). The length of time a domain name has been registered is just one piece of data that is collected.
Domains that have only been registered for a year or less should raise red flags because fraudsters typically don’t spend much time or money developing a trustworthy online presence. So that they can save money, they only buy domain names that will expire soon. Newer, shorter-lived websites are more likely to be fraudulent because they have less time to gather legitimate visitors’ information.
5. Payment Methods Offered
There are multiple payment methods available. In general, credit cards, PayPal, and Alipay offer consumer protection by permitting refunds in the event that a product is not delivered. Verify that the online store supports these payment methods.
Never transmit money to a bank account if you have doubts about a web store’s reliability.
6. Verify the Additional Details (Terms & Policies)
Temporary replacement or carelessly written text can be found on important pages like About Us, Terms & Conditions, giving the impression that the site is legitimate. Think carefully about making a purchase from the site if you find that these pages don’t exist or are of poor quality (they contain typos, for example). Do you seriously believe a genuine company would post sloppy or insufficient text?
You should take note of how professionally designed these sites are. Sites that are legit will have professional-looking logos and images to showcase their goods. Images and descriptions of products are common targets for content theft by scammers. Because of this, a website’s design may seem immature due to poor layout or low-quality images.
7. Visit the Related Social media Handles
Today’s consumers increasingly anticipate that their favorite internet retailers will be active on social media. Scammers are aware of this, so they frequently incorporate social media icons onto their sites. When you dig deeper, you may find that this functionality is not even working.
It’s not always clear where clicking on a social media icon will take you. Sometimes the scammers are so lazy that they did not even create a social media page with care. (or the social media risk) of setting up a separate account for their phony website. Verify whether there are any recent and consistent updates on that social media page. Most of the time, enraged users will let you know if a website is a scam.
8. Find Trustworthy Reviews
If an online store claims collaboration with a popular user review website (Like trustpilot or google reviews), that’s a good sign. Of course, not all evaluation methods are created equal. Verify that the review system follows the Review Certification Guidelines, that is, an online store cannot remove or edit the user reviews.
The Reviews or Testimonials part of many fraudulent websites is stuffed with manufactured recommendations. Names are composed, random pictures are used, and the content is usually stolen from other sites. That’s why it’s smart to take with a grain of salt any evaluations you read on a website, no matter how glowing they may seem. User reviews on sites like Google and TrustPilot cannot be removed or edited by businesses. You can get a more accurate image of what actual customers are saying by reading reviews posted on third-party websites.
Fake reviews contain mostly the western names with fake pictures from “thismandoesnotexits” webite
9. How Reliable Is It in Terms Of A Trustmark?
Third-party trust scores are a method of providing additional assurance when shopping online. They represent safeguards or legal safeguards for consumers. However, they are also widely used without credit by scam companies. As an example, the website may feature a trust score logo without actually being verified.
The Secure trust score was developed by the Ecommerce Foundation.
Buy only from stores with the trust score. When in doubt about the security of a website, look for the Safe Shop seal and proceed with caution. There’s a Safe you can visit if you discover that this feature is broken. Before making a purchase, make sure the company uses a legitimate confidence seal.
Checking the legitimacy of a website or app is an important step to protect yourself from fraudulent activities. By paying attention to domain names, security indicators, content, and contact information, you can identify potential red flags and take appropriate precautions. It’s important to exercise caution and not give out personal or financial information on websites or apps that appear suspicious. By following these steps and being aware of the signs of fraudulent websites and apps, you can help keep yourself and your information safe online.