Wise shoppers always look for the best deal, which involves comparing prices on every website out there. But do you know how to spot fake websites or fake offers on legitimate websites?

Online Shopping Scam

According to the Better Business Bureau, online shopping scams are booming. Most fraudulent websites offer items from famous brands with stolen photos. In the best case the buyer receives a counterfeit, in the worst case – nothing at all. Here are the warning signs to watch out for.

  • Very low price


If the price is more than 50% lower than it is on every other website, it is definitely a red flag. Also be careful if you find the item that is sold out everywhere else.

  • Website looks unprofessional

Grammar mistakes and sloppy layout show that the website was hastily put together and doesn’t have any long term purpose. It will be probably shut down before you know.

  • No contact information

If the only contact info you can find is a contact form, there is something fishy about the store. Always look for the physical address and phone number. You can even search for the address on a map and call the phone number for dead certainty.


  • Limited or no shipping and return policies

If there are no clear policies, the seller won’t have any obligations in case of a dispute. Taking some time to read may save you some money and trouble.

  • Vague or missing terms and conditions

Always read terms and conditions: you may find interesting tricks like hidden costs or no refunds accepted. If the seller doesn’t provide adequate privacy policy, as well as terms and conditions, think twice before placing the order.

  • The store is very new

It is always good practice to look for reviews of the seller or the store. However, if the website is new, you probably won’t find anything about it – also a bad sign. This also applies to social media online stores. You may refer to the Wayback Machine to check  when the domain was registered and what the website used to look like.

  • The URL starts with “http” instead of “https”

This means that the website is not secure, and you should not be providing any payment details.

Remember, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. Double check any suspicious offer, and never use unprotected payment methods like virtual currency or wire transfer. May you have many more pleasant shopping experiences ahead!


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