Websites are undoubtedly an essential resource in today’s world. It connects businesses and customers. One of the most significant advantages of having a website is that anybody can access it. Customers can access a website and use services or obtain information even while the business is closed. It has made life easier for both business owners and clients, yet, websites are no longer always as beneficial and advantageous as they once were. It is due to the existence of scam websites. What are scam websites? These refer to any illicit internet website used to trick consumers into fraud or malicious attacks. Meaning you pay these hackers and frauds money for products and services without them giving you anything of that sort. It is a huge problem you would want to avoid at all costs. It is why today, in this article, we will be giving you 14 easy ways to check if a website is legit or a scam.
1. Secure Connection (HTTPS)
First and foremost is to make sure the website has a secure connection; you can do this by going up to the URL bar, which must be indicated by an s after HTTP. The s indicates a safe link and a padlock which was described earlier. You can click on it and review the certificate validation information. It shows you the knowledge of issued to, issued by, and the date range of when that certificate is valid. What this does is if you are purchasing online and do not have an encrypted connection, then all of your credit card information, your credit card information is sent over by text which means anybody that is in between, a hacker or a middleman trying to get that information can easily see that information in plain text. But with a certificate, it encrypts the connection between you and the server, making it a lot harder for that information to be seen, or they have to decrypt it to know that information.
So, if you stumble upon a website that, of course, does not have a secure connection, it does not have any contact information or anything like that, it has a ton of pop-ups with other suspicious websites, then the chances are that it is probably a scam website and you should leave it as soon as possible. Do not provide any information to them, and as long as you are not clicking on anything, typically you are okay but be very careful and educate yourself on the type of content that you are viewing on a website, so you do not run into some trouble.
2. Look Out For Fake Domain Names
Many fake websites will use a domain name that references a well-known brand or product. However, it will not be the official website. It is commonly known as Domain spoofing. What is domain spoofing? When an attacker seems to utilise a firm’s domain to impersonate a company or one of its workers, this is known as domain spoofing. They might accomplish this by sending emails with fictitious domain names that look authentic or by creating websites with slightly altered characters that appear to be correct. Website domains such as www.ipadoffers.net, www.discountnikeclothes.com, Yah00.com, and Amaz0b.net, for example, are making tiny changes that you may overlook.
3. Look Out For Grammatical Errors
Legitimate business websites will take considerable care to present themselves professionally. However, numerous spelling, punctuation, and grammar issues could indicate that they created the website rapidly. While some typos on a website are expected, frequent errors may suggest that you are not on a reputable site. Why grammatical errors? A scammer’s goal is to make money, not get many people to respond to their email. Confident people tend to ask more questions regarding the content on the website. As you might expect, if you’re a struggling fraudster trying to stay out of trouble, you’d want to avoid folks who ask too many questions. Scammers include enough clues in their messages to dissuade responses from anyone who isn’t sufficiently gullible to screen out responses from such persons. As a result, the scammer only wants people who will fall for the con to respond.
4. Avoid Untrustworthy Bank Transfers
If you’re asked to pay for something online with a bank transfer, be cautious. An authorised push payment (APP) scam, also known as a bank transfer scam, occurs when you move money from your bank account to one belonging to a scammer. If you pay with a credit or debit card for anything that turns out to be false or non-existent, you have some right to get your money back. If you pay by bank transfer, though, there isn’t much you can do to get your money back.
5. Read Some Online Reviews
Reviews are incredibly significant; by reading reviews to determine their legitimacy, you can evaluate the seller’s trustworthiness and whether or not you should purchase the goods. Don’t rely on just one review source; compare numerous to prevent getting swayed. You should also look at the company’s social media pages for recent activities and see what other people say about them.
Most websites are required by data privacy laws and regulations to provide visitors with rules and procedures on how personal data is gathered, utilised, safeguarded, and kept. In addition, most websites have a web page or a link to a document with more information. Before providing any information or making any online purchases, look for this information and read it thoroughly. A website should have a clear direction of how your data is being collected. In most cases, that privacy link is legal.
7. Is It Too Good To Be True?
It is usual for certain shops to offer steep discounts on things to move inventory or promote a new product or service. But if the prices appear too good to be true, they most likely aren’t a legit website. Scam websites use low prices to entice bargain-hungry buyers into buying fraudulent, counterfeit, or non-existent things.
8. Check The Company’s Social Media Presence
Most genuine businesses have a social media presence and are active on it. Check if the social media icons on their website link to real and active social media accounts. Read the company reviews, and see if you can identify actual firm employees on LinkedIn.
9. Check Their Return Policy
10. Look For A Website Padlock
When you visit a website with a padlock icon next to its name, it signifies a digital certificate protects the website. It means that any information passed between your browser and the website is encrypted and cannot be intercepted or read by other parties while in transit.
11. Secure Your Details
Ensure you’re using a secure connection when shopping online or sharing personal information. It protects your financial and credit card information from prying eyes on the internet. If a website requests personal information or login credentials without redirecting you to a secure connection, leave right away.
12. Look Out For Trust or Security Seals
A trust seal is a logo displayed on a website or by a business. The goal is to show customers that this company cares about security and its brand identity. The requirements for the exhibiting merchant vary, but they often include a commitment to excellent security procedures, the usage of secure transaction mechanisms, and, most significantly, the company’s verified existence. Not every website has a security seal, which does not mean that it is an illegal website; it just means that they have not gone through the necessary hoops to add a security seal to the website. Often, this can be faked; if you cannot click on them, that does not mean it is faked, but you can typically click on one to get a certification verification page that it will go to. Sometimes the verification page is broken. That does not necessarily mean that the website is fake; it just means that the link that they forwarded is not currently working
13. Find Their Contact Information
Many individuals believe that a website containing contact information is more trustworthy. Many website visitors will abandon a website if it lacks a phone number or contact information. A secure website will provide a phone number, email address, physical address, and social media account information if it has one. These details won’t guarantee your safety, but they will let you know where you may get help if you need it. Ideally, a website must include a complete list of all contact information, including email address, contact phone number, and a physical address. And mostly, it is found under the heading of the ‘company’ or ‘help and contact’ link at the bottom of the website. Many scam companies or fake websites are going to be either non-existent as far as a contact page, or they are going to have a piece of pretty vague information.
14. Ensure Google Safe Browsing
Safe Browsing is a tool developed by Google’s security team to identify potentially harmful websites on the internet and alert users and website owners. Both Norton and Google provide free link-scanning services online.
15.Too Many Ads Is A Red Flag
A website with a vast number of advertisements may be a hoax. An overabundance of ads is common on fraudulent websites. Pop-ups that appear repeatedly and advertisements that link you to other websites could also be signs of fraud. You can find ads on almost any website. Any website where the adverts appear to outnumber the accurate content, on the other hand, is generally a no-go. You need to know what you are looking for and these ads appearing are tons of different scams. If you are unsure of the credibility of a firm and its website, contact The Global Payback and let us double-check for you before you take any action! Other than these ways, there are some other methods to check for the authenticity of a website.
Lost money to online fraud? We will recover your funds !
Experts Answering Cyber Security Questions
A survey was conducted where some experts answered the most cyber security questions searched online. Their answers are as follows;
- In the old days, people were told to look for that little green padlock that says that the site has a security certificate, but that is not enough these days as the green padlock says that your connection is being encrypted from your end to the website. So if you are connected to a malicious website, your relationship will be encrypted, but that does not mean that the website suddenly is going to be safe.
- If there is no lock icon, there is no HTTPS connection, so your connection to the server is not encrypted. This means that anyone listening to the network that you are at can see all your discussions with the server. For example, if you type in your username and password, everyone can listen up and record them on the network as they go.
- If you are visiting a website, it is best to look for their contact number, retail stores, and all the valid information that makes them look valid.
If you ever need to put your personal data on any website, make sure it goes over an encrypted connection. And always try to double think if you should give in your data or not.
Look for the main points to check if the website that you are visiting is a scam or not, and make sure your data and money are safe. Double-check the fake websites on some apps which tell if a website or link is registered or not, and avoid any webpage giving red flags.