Introduction To How to Spot A Fake Or Scam Website?
I know how hard it can be to spot a fake or scam website or discriminate between a legit website and a scam version. Unfortunately, the number of these websites has grown during the last couple of years. The similarity between the legit website and the fake or scam versions makes the act of discrimination hard, sometimes. It might also be hard to tell how to spot a fake or scam web.
However, if you know the difference between a fake or scam and legit websites and the signs that make them different from each other, you can easily turn yourself away from scammers. Yes, I am serious. In this article, I will tell you how to recognize a fake or scam website and avoid it at all costs to prevent the loss of your money and your energy.
In the following paragraphs, I will explain several ways how you can actually use it to spot a fake or scam website and exit immediately.
Trust Your Guts
This option may not work for every fake or scam website. However, I am going to tell you about a brief scenario.
In this scenario, an Ad you clicked on will direct you to certain products, and a new page will appear. On this page, you will see several products with low prices and significant discounts that you may not encounter in online stores such as Boohoo, Free People, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc. You tell yourself that these prices are too good to be true and even the company or manufacture itself doesn’t offer such prices.
How would you react in this case? Don’t fall for this trick. It is not something you can trust. This scenario is common among these fake or scam websites where they want to lure those customers who are ready to buy products just because of the great discounts offered. If something doesn’t feel right about this website, it is a sure sign of a fake or scam site. It might be in your interest to close your browser tab.
Look Carefully At The Website You Are Visiting
Please don’t order a certain service or product from a website without thinking twice and looking at the website itself. Just because you found the product you were looking for on this website doesn’t mean that the website is legit. It would be best if you double-checked the websites for the following reasons:
Reviews Do Wonders
You may think that reviews only see companies’ performance and learn from negative feedback to improve the services and products. However, you can actually use these reviews to tell if a website is legit or fake.
You may wonder about how reviews can help you in this regard. I will answer this part with three important questions:
Are There Oddly Similar Reviews On The Website?
If you notice some similarities between reviews you have found across several websites, it is a warning for you to leave the website immediately because it is a fake or scam.
Now how can you see these similarities in the reviews? Writing style and use of similar words. These signs show the individuals are copying information on the website without bothering to change.
How Old Are The Reviews?
Always look for the users who have written reviews on the website. Can you tell who has written their reviews? Is it a new user who interestingly has written hundreds of reviews about different websites? Or is it a very long-standing member of the website who is actually stating his or her opinion about the credibility of the website and products and services?
In the first case, you will understand that the same person from the fake website, who recently registered as the new member for the review website, is writing good feedback. In this second case, however, it is exactly the opposite, and that person is legit.
Should You Trust The Facts?
Be cautious about those users who are not stating their personal opinion and are just repeating the same things, facts, and statements about the company or website.
If you pay attention to the reviews from fake websites and real ones, you can actually tell the difference. If you believe that the reviews are written based on personal opinion, you can trust the website.
Does The Number Of Reviews Matter?
Actually, the number of reviews on the website is pretty important. You must be cautious about the website in which only a few reviews have been written. The best option here is to let go of that website.
Where Can I Find Reviews About A Certain Website?
If you can't find any reviews on the site itself, you can always rely on the following websites for finding customer reviews:
It is imperative to look at the company or website's social media to have great insight into what people think about it.
Spelling or Grammatical Errors
Lack of proper grammar and spelling errors can occur on several websites that claim to be legit. However, it is actually a fake or scam site where they want to lure you into buying their services and products without guaranteeing that the final product will be healthy and without a money-back guarantee.
Don’t you think a legit company or website will hire someone or a team who writes proper content for the website? A legitimate website will produce content where you won’t see any spelling or grammatical errors.
Have you ever received a call from a company or police officer claiming that you have been accused of several charges, such as identity theft, and they may be asking you to give them your Social Security number and other information, only you can have, to them? In addition, when you don’t cooperate with them, they will use harsh words that no government officer or company employee will use.
This is what happens when you don't answer to the employees in a manner they actually want. They will ask for your cooperation, but when you don't cooperate, they will open their mouth and use language that you don’t like and maybe despise, a cursing and forcing type of language.
If you are receiving an important email from companies such as Apple or Microsoft, look at the e-mails, and you shall see that their emails are worded proficiently. However, in emails that you receive from companies that are fake or scam and not legitimate, you will sense the sound of threatening.
Don’t Click On Any Link You See Within An Email.
It is important to note that no company or website will threaten you to suspend your account or limit your activities forever. These are the fake or scam websites you must get away from because the only reason they are after you is to get your personal or account information.
You can trust the above website under one condition, and that is when you have requested a password reset link because you have forgotten your user name or password. Unless the email from the website provides you with a concrete reason, you must never click on the link.
Does The Company Exist?
Every website or company needs to have a physical address to operate. This is an aspect you must consider when you verify whether their website is legit or not.
If a website has a physical address, it needs to be stated on the “Contact Us” page. In addition, that website has to provide a couple of emails on this page that have a format just like this example: “firstname.lastname@example.org.” However, if you see the emails are written in a generic version like this: “xyz@gmail or yahoo.com,” this might be a red flag, and the website is a fake or scam one.
These terms and conditions are written based on where that company is located and the Articles of Association are written. You already have taken a glimpse at these terms and conditions, and you know what they are talking about. I also know that you can differentiate between fake or scam and valid documents.
Shipping & Return Policies
In addition to privacy policies, you must also take a look at the shipping and return policies. Does the online store you are visiting contain this policy, and why is this policy important? Let me tell you why.
Imagine that you ordered a certain product and when you receive the package,
- The product is damaged,
- The package is filled with faulty items,
- Or, the correct items that you ordered are inside the package.
What will happen is that you will call the company or website immediately and tell them that you will return the package. Then they will send you the proper or undamaged item(s). This will also help you in returning their packages that are worth thousands of dollars. A website that doesn’t have the required terms and conditions for shipping and returning their packages will be considered a fake or scam website.
Active Presence Of The Company On Social Media
How can you tell that their website has a high number of loyal customers, as it says? If it were old times, you would have heard of the company name in the streets, from family members and friends. Today, however, social media is acting like a gossip center where people talk about companies and websites.
If you want two know about the legitimacy of a website or company, all you need to do is to visit the social media platforms where this company or website is operating, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Telegram, etc., and read the comments and reviews posted by the website employees and customers.
As mentioned before, you must look at these similarities between the comments posted in the comments section and see if you can spot anything suspicious. If you see any comments from the employees, you can research their names to see if these individuals are legitimate and have a background on social media like LinkedIn or not.
Have You Noticed The Sign Of A Padlock On Your Browser?
Have you ever noticed a sign of a padlock next to the website URL and wondered what it means? This sign actually means that the website is completely secure, and you can do transactions without any fear of your information being detected or sold. If you see such a sign while searching through their website, you will not have anything to worry about.
Can You Trust The Padlock Completely?
If the website you are visiting is familiar and you already bought several items from the company, its website is trustworthy.
The problems may start when it is a new website, you had never bought something from. When you see this padlock sign on the website, can you still trust it, or is it a fake or scam site?
Unfortunately, scammers are now able to use these padlocks on their websites by forging or buying them. So, the question is, how can we trust these websites? In addition to the padlock, there are other tools that you can use to verify the legitimacy of a website. These tools will be described in the following paragraph, “Conclusion,” briefly.
In the current article, we tried to give you ways to spot fake websites from legit ones that are easy to apply to. You don’t need to have excellent computer skills to carry out these tasks.
In addition to these methods, you can also use the following tools to ensure that you are safe from fake or scam websites. These tools are as follows:
- Free websites such as “ionos.com.” This website allows you to do a quick lookup of the website you are visiting right now and will tell you if this website is safe to use or not.
- Block websites using “Webroot Filtering Extension.” If you want to stay away from dangerous websites and never come across them ever again, you can use this extension to block any websites that might be fake or scam.
- Privacy Cleaner. This application is so easy to use. By running it in the background, this application actually helps you detect any website that might want to access your private information.
I trust this article will help you spot a fake or scam website and help you stay safe on the internet. Please stay tuned. There are more blog posts to come shortly. Take care.
Your Opinion Is Important To Me
I would love to hear from you. Please leave me your questions, experience, remarks, and/or suggestions about fake or scam websites in the comments section below. You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@WorkFromAnywhereInTheWorld.com.
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