Fraud is now at record levels, and whilst you will find sensible steps we are able to all take to protect ourselves, an unfair burden has been placed on the general public.
Be part of us in calling on the government, regulators and companies to do more to guard us all from scams.
Eight ways to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam web site
It can be hard to recognize a fake, fraudulent or scam site. Fraudsters are very cunning and great at creating convincing sites.
Take these eight easy methods to test whether a web site is authentic or not.
Double-check the domain name
A great deal of fraudulent web sites make use of a domain address that references a well-known brand or item name. But won’t be the official website.
For example, web site domains like www.ipadoffers.net or www.discountnikeclothes.com should raise alarm bells.
You need to also be mindful of domains that conclude in .net or .org, as they’re seldom utilized for on-line buying so might have been acquired by dubious organisations.
Will be the offer too good to be true?
Whenever you see very low costs with outrageous discounts, you ought to be a bit suspicious. If prices appear too great to be true then, unfortunately, they probably are.
Scam sites use low prices 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 identify if something is really a great deal or simply a con.
Never ever pay off by bank transfer
Alarm bells ought to ring in the event you are asked to pay out for some thing on the internet via a bank transfer.
In the event you purchase some thing that turns out to be fake or non-existent using a credit or debit card, you have some rights to obtain your cash back.
However if you pay off by bank transfer, there’s extremely little you can 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 through the text there.
Watch out for poor English, such as spelling as well as grammar errors, or phrases that do not sound fairly right.
It might imply the website isn’t legitimate and was put together by somebody abroad seeking to make a quick profit.
You need to also verify that the web site lists any contact information.
Trustworthy and reputable companies will usually list methods to get in touch with them; if the web site doesn’t have a ‘Contact us’ page, it could well be fraudulent.
If the web site has ‘Contact us’ page but only provides a form to fill out, be wary as this may also be a sign of a dubious site.
Any company offering goods or services should list a location of business, also as a telephone number or email address via which to get in touch with them.
If none of this info is available, you should treat the website as highly suspicious.
Check the returns policy
If the business is selling a item on-line, it should have a shipping and returns policy listed on its site.
If it’s a genuine company, it should tell you how and exactly where to return a faulty item.
Read some internet reviews
Take a look at reviews across numerous sources, like Trustpilot, Feefo or Sitejabber, which aggregate customer ratings.
Don’t take a look at just a single review web site – check numerous in order to avoid being influenced by .
You need to 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
Make use of our leading tricks to identify a fake review:
1. Are there lots of oddly similar reviews?
It should be a red flag in the event you see a similarity in the reviews across several sites.
Reading through reviews, you may notice a whole set that utilize similar word groupings and also writing style.
This usually 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 very new?
Watch out for reviews from new accounts. A few of the reviews should be from long-standing members from the site.
You might discover the individual has reviewed a huge selection of websites, which gives them more credibility than somebody who’s only reviewed a single site.
3. Is the review non-factual or overly factual?
Facts are essential in a review; don’t trust a review if facts or actionable information is light on the ground.
Likewise, a review that provides no individual opinion at all might 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 reviews?
In this case, it’s probably best to provide any suspicious web site a miss.
Are you able to trust a trust mark?
Research carried out by ANEC, an European customer organisation, discovered that seven in 10 people say they’re more likely to make use of a website which has a trust-mark label or logo.
However with more than Fifty various trust-mark labels as well as logos in use across Europe, and a lot of 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 web site appears to carry the logo of a trustworthy trade organisation, it nonetheless does not necessarily mean the site is genuine.
If you’re doubtful, you can always contact the trust-mark company to check.
Search for a padlock
Most browers show a green padlock next to the website’s URL – this can be a handy method to see if a site is reliable.
However, this step should only be used in conjunction with other checks, in case.
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