How to Report a Scam Website
We see loads of articles and posts online warning us of how not to be scam and what to look out for but not many telling us on how to report a scam website. I would not know who or where to report it other than the search engine I found it on or the police, what about you?
firstly we know a scam online is just a version of a the dodgy salesman who cold calls at your door how ever these scam artists are very clever and it can be difficult to see a scam straight away so before committing it is vital you do your homework and research thoroughly.
As the UK consumer group Which?. has pointed out a number of times, there are normally 7 common steps to watch out for when trying to see if a company i legit or not.This company has websites around the world and is all about the best deals for the consumers.
Double-checking domain Names
It is common for scammers to use a domain name of well known brands as a reference but there will be a slight alterations to the name but at a quick glance it will look like the real thing.
so examples could be:
www.samsungdeals.com or www.adidasdiscounts.net Which should and could be suspicious as it is not the actual brands website and could be an attempt to obtain your bank information or be selling fake goods.
It would also be sensible to be wary of shopping sites ending .org or .net as these are not usually used for shopping websites.
This offer too good to be true?
if a product is being advertised at low prices and then there is a massive discount offer on top of the low price as if too good to be true then it normally is!
The scammers are basically using low prices on the website to tempt shoppers to buy products that are normally fake or don’t exist as t’s another way to obtain your bank details.
Never pay by bank transfer
You should never ever pay for something via a bank transfer online, either use a payment website such as Pay Pal or World pay or use a debit or credit card. with a bank transfer there is no way to get your money back if it turns out to be a fake site but with the payment sites and card payments you should be able to claim most of it back.
Browse the website
Due Diligence is highly recommended and the first thing you should do is browse their website and get a feel for it. You can check the home page, the about us page and also if they are a company see if it’s registered.
Check if there is a contact us page and not just a contact form as a company that is selling goods online should always have their place of business listed on their website and that should include a phone number.
I cannot speak German for instance so I would need a translator program. A German person would know that it did not read correctly and would be suspicious and wary if i was asking them to buy something.
If you cannot find any of this information or there are signs of any of these then I would urge you to treat the site as very risky.
Does the website have a returns policy
If the company that owns the website is legitimate and is selling products online via delivery then it will and should have a returns policy in place which will include shipping returned items. The policy should also include where to return a faulty item and should have a page donated to terms and conditions and how it uses your personal data.
Read some online reviews
depending what industry your buying in you may even be able to check checkout reviews across a number of review sites , such as Trustpilot, which record customer reviews. try if possible to look at a few sites for reviews. Just type in the website name and reviews and the search will bring them up.
It is also a good idea to see if they have any pages on the social media platform to see what type of interaction and engagement they have with the public.
Spot a fake review
Can a trust mark be trusted?
Research carried out by ANEC, a European consumer organisation, found that seven in ten people say they’re more likely to use a website with a trust-mark label or logo however how do you know this logo is in fact true ? There are 50 kinds of trust logos in use across Europe alone and some countries do no use them and if it is a legitimate logo the website may still not be legitimate.
If you’re any doubt about the logo then you can always contact the trust-mark company to check.
So How to report a scam website?
There are a few ways to report a scam website thankfully and one involves the copyright of the company they are mimicking. Contacting the company that has been mimicked is a good start as they will have a big legal department that will make sure alerts and steps are taken to warn people about it. A company cn often warn it’s customers by putting a notice on its website warning them of any scams in order to prevent any further people falling victim.
Another way on how to report a scam website is to contact Action Fraud which is the UK’s national fraud and crime reporting centre. Action Fraud provides a central point of contact for victims to report about fraud and financially motivated internet crime in the UK.
You can phone and report a scam or fill out an online form but either way you will be given a crime reference number.
Thank you for reading my post and please feel free to look around my website, if you want to know about various types of online scams then you can read further about them on my other pages. The Link is just below.
My main scam page menu: Online scams
I would love to here any experiences you have had with scam websites if you care to leave your comment below!