Nowadays, there are a lot of scam websites available on the internet, which trick users and execute internet fraud in different ways.
Over the years, with the exponential growth of internet users, the number of scam websites has grown parallel.
FBI reveals that only Americans lost around $10.3 billion to internet scams in 2022. Not limited to that, but this figure is growing every year due to the inception of cryptocurrency and NFT as the least regulated investment opportunity.
But the main question is, How a common person can detect these scams..? and How to avoid scam websites?
Don’t worry, we are here to share with you a detailed guide to detect and prevent yourself from scam websites.
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How to Detect Scam Websites?
To detect any scam website, the most important thing is to check for red flags.
A person who understands these important red flags has very little chance of getting scammed.
Let us understand these red flags one by one.
1. Use a Scam Detection Tool
Using online free tools like Web Safety Checker is the easiest way to detect scam websites.
These tools check for various basic and technical aspects of each website to generate verdicts. With the integration of artificial intelligence, online scam detector tools became efficient.
Web Safety Checker like tools automatically scans several aspects, which is not possible manually.
2. Poorly Designed Websites and Grammar Errors
Scam websites often have poor design and layout. They may appear unprofessional, with low-quality images, inconsistent fonts, or a cluttered interface.
Additionally, scammers may not pay attention to grammar and spelling, resulting in numerous errors throughout the website.
Scammers nowadays got smarter and can build identical websites to others, hence be careful and follow the next red flag.
3. The Domain Name
Scammers often create domain names that are similar to legitimate websites to trick users into thinking they are on a genuine site.
Carefully examine the domain name for any misspellings, extra characters, or variations. For example, instead of “amazon.com,” a scam website might use “amaz0n.com” or “amazon-deals.com”.
Always double-check the domain name to ensure it matches the legitimate website you intend to visit.
Also be careful about domain extension, like Amazon use the “.com” extension for the USA and “.in” for India.
4. Search Reviews and Complaints
One of the most effective ways to detect online scam websites is to conduct thorough research.
Before making any transactions or sharing personal information, search for reviews or feedback about the website.
Look for reviews from other users on platform like TrustPilot.
Also, many public forums are there, which discuss popular scam websites.
Note: A single red flag can’t guarantee 100% accuracy in detecting scam websites. It’s important to use a combination of these key points and exercise caution.
5. Visit the Contact & About Page
Legitimate websites typically provide clear and easily accessible contact information, such as a physical address, phone number, and email address.
Scam websites may lack this information or provide vague or non-existent contact details. If you cannot find or see suspicious contact details then it is a warning sign.
6. Be Alert from Deals
Offering attractive deals is the most common way to attract people to a scam. Whether it’s a crypto-investment opportunity or a 90% off summer sale, be careful and take your foot back.
Fake e-commerce scammers often lure victims with too-good-to-be-true offers or deals. If a website is offering products or services at lower prices compared to other reputable websites, it could be a red flag.
If there is an online investment opportunity, check the approval from the financial regulator of your country.
7. Review Social Media Presence
Legitimate companies usually have an active social media presence. When visiting a website, look for social media icons or links to their social media profiles.
Some scam websites create dummy social media links on their website, so have a look at that also.
Also precisely check the operating location and from how many years they exist.
8. SSL Certificate
SSL Certificate can save you from disasters.
A website with valid SSL has “https” connection instead of “http”. This extra “s” encrypt your connection with the website.
A valid SSL certificate is vital when you are sharing sensitive information like passwords or credit card detail with any website.
Unfortunately, websites with a valid SSL certificate can steal your important information. In that case, tools like Web Safety Checker can detect blacklisted SSL certificates as well.