How To Identify Fake Websites: 11 Warning Signs To Know

You might’ve navigated to a fake shopping website designed to take more than the price of that shiny PS5 you were eyeing. Unfortunately, such websites have been around for years, with crypto wallets becoming the latest target for scammers. With digital assets being increasingly used as a payment method in online shopping, the scammers behind fake e-commerce websites are keeping up with the speed of innovation. When shopping online, don’t be fooled into trusting sketchy websites because you might save money. These fake shopping sites either steal your financial information or send you cheap knock-off versions of the items that you think you’re buying. Stay updated on common online shopping scams and be aware of any new tactics scammers might use.

Once upon a time, the only way to get your shopping done was at a brick-and-mortar store. In terms of crime, shoppers may have been worried about muggers and swindlers, but one concern they probably did not have was that the entire store was fake. Unfortunately, that exact threat is something that modern-day shoppers have to contend with. If you fall for a website scam, you risk losing sensitive information and money or infecting your device with malware.

  1. So whenever you have doubts about the link, don’t click on it directly.
  2. Fake shopping websites usually try to force you to pay for goods using non-reversible and non-traceable payment methods.
  3. But at the same time, real customers (who might have gotten scammed) can also write reviews warning you about their experiences.
  4. If you fall for this website scam, everything you submit on such a copycat website ends up in the hands of fraudsters.

Just pop the URL into the search bar, and Google will give you an assessment of the site. For customers in the U.S., the company’s legitimate URL is However, there are dozens of copycat sites pretending to be the official site by slightly altering its domain name—including the highly suspect, vivobarefootoutlet[dot]us. Some faux e-stores are entirely unique in their design, but many mimic trusted retailers by using familiar logos, stolen images, and a URL that’s easily mistaken for the real thing. Throw in a plethora of smaller sales that pop up randomly to mark the start of the holiday season, and it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of looking for the best deals. However, letting your guard down is exactly what scammers are counting on.

What to do if you become a victim of a scam website

The prices advertised on fake shopping websites are significantly lower than those offered by genuine retailers, making sham online stores attractive to deal-hungry shoppers. Most fake websites will feature popular items that are expensive, such as designer clothing or gaming consoles. Additionally, there are measures avira phantom vpn pro you can take to ensure you are protected if you do stumble upon a fake website. Keeping your software and antivirus updated will offer some protection against malware attacks. Using a high-quality VPN like ExpressVPN encrypts your traffic and hides your IP address, so the site won’t be able to identify you.

What to do if you encounter a fake website

Whether they ask you to pay for an antivirus or they give it to you for free, the download is malware in disguise. Instead of removing non-existent viruses, it infects you with real malware. Ensure you have updated cybersecurity paypal linked with $500m bid for crypto asset security firm curv software that can detect and block malicious sites. Consider tools like Guardio to provide real-time protection against harmful links and websites. On the surface, it’s difficult to tell a scam website from an official one.

In the example above, it’s clear that the actual link is leading to another site. But if that URL looked more like Google, it would be easy to make a mistake. And scammers have plenty of ways to make the links look similar, especially when the links are much longer than our example. Before opening the link, you should also analyze the URLs and domain names.

Therefore, you can always paste the URL of a website to one of the tools, for example, Google’s Safe Browsing Site Status tool. However, if a site is secure from third parties, it doesn’t mean it’s safe overall. When it comes to fake websites, you need to worry about the party running the site. And even messages from your friends can include links to fake websites github bitmex scaled orders etherdelta full step by step guide buying veri and eos if they have clicked on the same link and got their device infected beforehand. Scammers have all kinds of tools to create scam websites, so telling a fake page from a real one can be challenging. If you’ve made a purchase or entered financial information, like your credit card number, monitor your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized transactions.

” The Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker website is also a great place to check for negative reviews about a company. Be cautious of websites that bombard you with excessive pop-up ads, especially if they seem unrelated to the products you’re browsing. To ensure they comply with the laws surrounding consumer protection rights, reputable retail brands are transparent about their return and refund policies.

And using a credit card rather than a debit card will provide some degree of protection against losing your money to a fraudulent transaction. If you’re charged for an item you never received or that is not as described, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company. Scammers create fake websites to persuade you into sharing sensitive information, such as account passwords, payment details, or personal information they can use to steal your identity. Some fake websites can even infect your device with malware or trick you into buying non-existent or counterfeit products. Scammers create fake shopping websites that look like genuine e-commerce stores but are designed to steal your hard-earned cash, passwords, or personal information.

Visit our Report cybercrime page to find the links for reporting cybercrime in different countries. No matter what risks a fake website brings, it’s crucial to take immediate action if you identify a scam website or, worse, fall victim to it. So whenever you have doubts about the link, don’t click on it directly. Open the bookmarked version of the page if you have it saved, or look it up on the search engine.

Use a website checker or safe browsing tools

Mark is initially skeptical because he can’t find much information from previous buyers. To pressure users into making a quick decision, scammers often resort to age-old tactics such as claiming that products are in high demand, nearly sold out, or only available for a limited time. Protect your information, report the site, and ensure you have cybersecurity measures in place. This is where cyber tools like Guardio come into play, once installed, it’ll immediately warn you about the site and block it. If you’ve entered any login details, change your passwords for that account and any other accounts where you use the same password.

And if you do manage to track down a phone number or email address, it may not actually lead anywhere. Reporting scam websites is the key to getting rid of them as soon as possible. It can help prevent people from falling victim to these online scams. So it’s helpful to check the domain age on the Whois Lookup page. It’s easy, too – paste the URL you want to inspect and review the “Dates” in the domain profile details. It shows exactly how many days old the domain is and when it was registered.

American’s lost more than $1.9 Billion to online scams

We do not claim, and you should not assume, that all users will have the same experiences. A website checker helps you answer if a website is safe to visit. For example, it tells you if the site uses encryption to protect your data, along with the site’s level of verification certificate. Before making a purchase from an unfamiliar retailer, read reviews of the website and the retailer to see if other customers have had positive experiences. Also, report the website to your local police and authorities, especially if you have already fallen victim to it.

Top Facebook Marketplace scams often involve counterfeit goods, fake listings, overpayments, requesting payment through gift cards, and more. The website should also include basic legal information, such as its terms and conditions, privacy policy, and data collection policy. If you can’t find this information, it’s likely not a legitimate company.

There are different types of scams online, and scam sites also come in different shapes and sizes. Each scam website type has distinctive features that could serve as a red flag for spotting them. A more diligent scammer may even use pharming techniques to redirect the legitimate websites to the fraudster’s fake version. When building a fake shopping website, scammers prioritize speed over quality to maximize the damage they can do before the domain gets taken down.

Meanwhile, the subject reveals to whom the certificate is issued. If the organization is not the company that should be responsible for the website, that’s another red flag. Another thing you should check when looking at the URL is whether the site has an SSL/TLS certificate. It’s indicated by a padlock symbol before the URL and HTTPS prefix in the web address bar.