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How to prevent online shopping fraud?

5 checkpoints to spot a fake online shop

Scammers are everywhere, especially on the internet. Here are 5 checkpoints to help you find out if you are dealing with a fake online shop.

5 Things to Check to SEE If an Online Shop is Legit

Online shopping is now the trend. After all, it gives you a lot of advantages when shopping. It’s convenient and relatively safe and secure. Almost everything can now be bought online and there are more choices. But the greatest turn-on is that online shopping offers most of the best bargains.

Because of the online shopping boom, fake online shops that are out to scam you are also on the rise. Here are 5 things you can check to see if you are dealing with a fake online shop.

1. Check the Source Code
This may sound like a daunting task but it’s actually very simple even for non-techies. To be able to view the source code, just right click your mouse on the page of the online shop and a pop-up menu will display on your screen. Click "view source code." Just look for any phrase that says “Created using HTML Generator” or something similar. If you find this phrase, this is probably a fake online shop.
2. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Check
When shopping online, you cannot help but give sensitive data to the site. For your own security, you need to make sure that these sites are encrypted with SSL. There are many ways to do this but the easiest and fastest is to check the URL or the website address. If it starts with “https://” then it is SSL encrypted.
3. Check the Details
Most times you will know if an online shop is a scam when the details presented are lacking or are a bit off. Vague information or lack of information about the seller such as an office address, e-mail address, and other contact info means it’s a scam. Legit online stores also have pages showing their terms of service or privacy policy. Sites that do not have these are usually fake. The more information they provide the bigger the chances that their sites are legit.
4. Legitimate Payment Sites
Most real online shops use payment gateways that offer several convenient payment methods. If a shop is connected to these secure payment companies, it usually means that they were checked by these companies before allowing them to use the service.
5. Reviews and Checking Sites
Although many websites, legit or not, can create fake reviews to promote their websites, there are sites and blogs, like Facebook and Twitter that can give you objective feedback.
There are also websites that keep track of information on other websites which can be used to check if they are legit sites. For instance, whois.net is a site that tracks the history of other websites, while blacklistalert.org is a site that shows blacklisted sites.

Following the tips mentioned above may prevent you from falling victim to online scams. Online shopping fraud is a serious problem, in fact, a well-known establishment in the U.S. recently advised its customers to consider shopping offline to prevent fraud.

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