How to Spot a Fake Website?

This article talks about simple ways to identify fake websites and avoid losing money.

The internet is a magical place opening up immense possibilities which were unimaginable a while back. However, like most good things which make our life effortless, there is a downside to it as it exposes our vulnerability.

The internet has become the breeding ground for con artists and cybercriminals who are riding the digitalization wave to fleece unsuspecting people.

Food, apparels, electronic devices, homewares, luxury items – name it, and it is available at the click of a key. While you are splurging and getting a high from retail therapy, a killjoy is waiting out there to ruin your happiness and bank account. This very transaction opens up opportunities for fraudsters who lure you to fake websites which sound very similar to original ones. This conman not only diverts your money into his account, there is more, hold your breath – your personal information and financial details which can be disastrous for you.

Here are some of the ways to spot a fake website and once you do – don’t go within a hundred mile radius of it. Safeguard your vital information and keep your money secure by being cautious.

If it is too good to be true, run away

If you see a deal on the internet which is too good to be true, chances are it is a phishing scam. Consider doing some price comparison on other sites before you click “purchase” and end up losing money. Most of the time e-commerce sites are climbing over each other to offer discounts to draw traffic. If you find the discount is not at par with competing sites, then be sure that you have stumbled on a fraud website.

Pay special attention to the domain name

Usually, fraudulent websites pick up a domain name which the user can easily mistake for the original. The names could vary from www.iphoneoffers.net to www.bigdiscountongadget.com

Internet users should steer clear of domains that end in .net or .org, as they are not popular among e-commerce websites, and might have been incorporated by unauthentic firms.

Typosquatting = phishing scams

The major warning signs are the misspelled name of the website domain name. Typosquatting is a trick that is rampantly used as a part of phishing scams. The technique involves purchasing misspelled variations of popular domain names and creating a fake website which looks eerily similar to the site it’s imitating. Netizens unknowingly land on these misspelled domains by incorrect typing or receive clever phishing campaigns that lure the user to click a link without noticing the subtle spell errors in the domain name.

Shoddy website design and poor English

Legitimate companies specialize in design, and the prominent ones invest heavily in perfecting the design of their website. Their sites are the face of the brand and will have the best imagery. Sloppy designs and cluttered visuals are a giveaway that the company cannot be trusted.  One should always read the fine print smartly before giving out any private information. Most scammers operate in hurry and may commit spelling and grammar mistakes.

How to determine if a website is fake?

WHOIS can be the holy grail to detect cybercriminals. You can use this tool to screen the site if you have your doubts. If you are checking out a site that seems amiss, you can take help via WHOIS to figure out if the company is real or not. For instance, if the site acknowledges itself as a brand, you can check its legitimacy on WHOIS. It will provide you with all the necessary information- email address and phone number associated with the account, and also where the site is purportedly located, as well its creation date.

We, at LdotR, are always ready to alert you about fraud websites and how to face this peril head-on. Contact us.

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