If you are a social media user, you have probably stumbled upon updates tagging several people promoting a sale or a special promotion for one product or another. These are almost always offers involving ridiculously low prices – who would believe you can buy a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses or Reebok shoes for such a low price? Some still do and find out the hard way that it was a scam – when they receive a cheap replica or even worse, a piece of wood or brick instead of the product they ordered (if they receive anything at all). Sometimes, the scams are awfully obvious – sometimes, in turn, they are well-built scams that are only given away by a few small details. You want to not only avoid sharing personal information with these sites but avoid them altogether. So, here are a few tricks on how to identify a scammer webshop that will take your money and offer nothing in return.
A suspicious domain name
Domain names are part of a brand – Nike owns Nike.com, Ray-Ban does business through Ray-Ban.com, and all the major brands (that are usually falsified) have at least one international domain name (or local domain names in all countries where they operate). So, if a domain name doesn’t reflect the brand, it is highly suspicious.
Make no mistake, there are online stores selling major brands – but they never try to pose as the true brand.
Discounts that are too good to be true
As I said above, when a price is too low to be true, it usually is. Billions of pieces of clothing, footwear, watches, electronics, even smartphones, and laptops are forged each year and sold as “originals” at a low price. The problem with these is that they have nowhere near the quality of the original. When it comes to clothes and shoes, they are usually low-quality replicas with a brand screen printed or even embroidered on them.
If it’s too cheap to be true, it usually is. Don’t fall for this scam.
Too few payment options
A legitimate webshop will accept a variety of payment methods, from credit and debit cards to PayPal and similar secure methods, and if it’s a local shop, it will almost always offer you the option to pay on delivery. But if the only options are money transfer, cash, or a gift card or even Bitcoin, this has to raise suspicion.
Last but not least, here is an important tip for you: a legitimate webshop always has a company behind it that is clearly identified on the website. If the only contact method is a simple contact form, with no mailing address, no telephone number, no name, and no company name, it is most likely not a truly legitimate merchant.