Fraud is now at record levels, and whilst you will find sensible steps we can all take to protect ourselves, an unjust burden has been placed on the public.
Join us in calling on the government, regulators and companies to do more to protect us all from scams.
8 methods to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam web site
It may be hard to spot a fake, fraudulent or scam website. Scammers are extremely cunning and good at creating convincing sites.
Take these eight easy steps to test whether a website is reputable or otherwise.
Double-check the domain address
A great deal of fraudulent websites will use a domain name that references a well-known brand or item name. But won’t be the official website.
For example, web site domains such as www.ipadoffers.net or www.discountnikeclothes.com ought to raise alarm bells.
You should also be cautious of domains that end in .net or .org, as they’re rarely used for on-line buying so may have been obtained by dubious organisations.
Is the offer too great to be accurate?
Whenever you see extremely low prices with outrageous discounts, you should be a bit suspicious. If costs seem too great to be true then, sadly, they most likely are.
Scam sites use low costs to lure bargain-hungry shoppers to quickly sell fake, counterfeit or non-existent products.
You are able to use our tips for spotting a scam to help you identify if something is actually a great deal or simply a scam.
Never ever pay by bank transfer
Alarm bells ought to ring if you are requested to pay for something online by way of 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 obtain your cash back.
Nevertheless in the event you pay off by bank transfer, there’s extremely little you can do to obtain your money back.
Browse the web site
Take a couple of minutes to double-check the web site. Perhaps visit the homepage or the ‘About us’ pages and read through the text there.
Watch out for poor English, like spelling and grammar mistakes, or phrases that don’t sound quite right.
It might mean the site is not legitimate and was put together by somebody abroad seeking to generate a fast profit.
You need to also verify that the website lists any contact information.
Reputable and legitimate companies will always list ways to contact them; if the site doesn’t have a ‘Contact us’ page, it might well be bogus.
If the site has ‘Contact us’ page however only offers a form to fill out, be wary as this could also be a signal of a dubious web site.
Any company offering goods or services should list a place of business, also as a telephone number or e-mail address via which to contact them.
If none of this information is available, you need to treat the web site as highly suspicious.
Check the returns policy
If the company is promoting a item online, it ought to have a shipping and returns policy listed on its website.
If it is a legitimate business, it ought to tell you how and where to return a faulty item.
Go through some on-line reviews
Take a look at reviews across numerous sources, like Trustpilot, Feefo or Sitejabber, which aggregate consumer ratings.
Don’t take a look at just one review website – check several to avoid being influenced by .
You should also check the company’s social media pages for current activity and to determine what other individuals are posting on their social channels.
Identify 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 notice a similarity in the reviews across several sites.
Reading through reviews, you may notice a whole set that use similar word groupings and also writing style.
This often indicates the reviewers are either copying information or that the reviews had been all written by the same individual.
2. Are the reviewers all very new?
Look out for reviews from new accounts. A few of the reviews should be from long-standing members from the site.
You might discover the person has reviewed hundreds of sites, which gives them more credibility than someone who’s only reviewed one site.
3. Is the review non-factual or overly factual?
Facts are essential 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 a great deal of help.
4. Are you able to only find very few reviews?
Within this case, it’s most likely best to give any suspicious website a miss.
Can you trust a trust mark?
Research carried out by ANEC, a European customer organisation, discovered that seven in 10 people say they’re much more likely to use a website which has a trust-mark label or logo.
But with more than 50 various trust-mark labels as well as logos in use across Europe, and several nations also not making use of them at all, they are not always a sound way of judging whether a website is trustworthy.
Also, simply because a site appears to carry the logo of a reputable trade organisation, it still doesn’t necessarily mean the web site is legitimate.
If you are in doubt, you can always get in touch with the trust-mark company to verify.
Search for a padlock
The majority of browers show a green padlock next to the site’s URL – this can be a handy method to see if a website is trusted.
However, this step should only be utilized in conjunction with other checks, just in case.
For more information on Is Legit And Safe visit the website.