Imagine you placed a wager on Preakness odds and your horse wins by a nose! The thrill of the race still has you buzzing, you sprint to your computer to withdraw your winnings, only to find that your account has been emptied and your identity stolen. What a nightmare!
In an era of technology and digital services, scammers and fraudulently are thriving on every corner. Purchasing goods or services on a scam website could make you lose your data to online frauds.
In addition to theft, your devices may get infected with a virus or malware. Detecting these fake websites can be hard but once you understand how to Identify spam websites, by what they look like, it will be easy to spot one when it comes your way.
It's crucial to learn how to Identify spam websites. Here are some quick tips that will protect you from the scammers:
1. Look at the Domain Name
Scammers have learned that people are becoming vigilant so they will create a website with a domain name almost similar to a bigger company. For example, they can mimic a company like Amazon by having their domain name as Amaz0n, just in case you are not keen on details or you are in a hurry.
You are likely to be redirected to another page, so make sure to carefully check the address bar.
2. Confirm the Address Bar
Legitimate websites use encryptions to transfer data to keep hackers away. You can identify an encrypted website by looking at its address, like this;http//s. All secured website addresses start that way, with the "s" meaning secure.
Sometimes you can get warnings about insecure websites from internet browsers, such as google chrome. This helps you make an informed decision if you decide to go ahead and use the website.
Secured websites may have addresses highlighted in green and you may also see a small padlock next to the address.
3. Go a step further from the padlock
Click on the padlock to get more information about that website. A legit website that is secured will show the name of the company and certificate validity when you click on the lock.
Looking beyond the padlock helps you to confirm any detail that may appear off or suspicious.
4. Check out for alternative contact information
A legit website should have many ways you can get in touch with the company, like physical address, email, Facebook page, or phone numbers.
Try to contact them in other ways and see if they are responsive and if you can only communicate with a certain form, be careful not to fall into scammers' trap. Don't make any purchase until you are sure.
5. Pay in Secured Ways
Payment options that are secured, such as credit cards and Paypal are much safer because your money can be refunded if the purchase was to scammers shopping websites.
You should avoid paying through transfer wire or money orders which are unsecured because once you authorize payment, there's nothing that can be done to undo the transaction.
6. Install an antivirus
Installing an antivirus can protect you from fraudulent websites that spam you. If a website is not secured, there will be a lot of pop-ups and many ads that prevent you from even the whole content on a page.
Run a virus scan always and keep the anti-virus in check to protect your devices and yourself from scammers' websites.
7. Assess How the Content is Written.
Fraudulent websites must have their content written quickly to suit that particular moment, so if you access the content within that website, you will notice a lot of grammatical errors, such as spellings, punctuations, and at times, odd phrases.
If a company is legitimate, it will dedicate its time to giving standard content without mistakes, although a typo may appear, once in a while the quality remains professional.
8. Check What Others Are Saying Online
Chances are, if a website has scammed clients in the past, there will be negative reviews from the victims, warning others against the site.
Use your due diligence to find out if the site is what it says it's. Find out other people's opinions and experiences about that website. This will help you decide accordingly.
You can have a perfect experience shopping online only if you learn how to Identify spam websites and keep an eye on the frauds. Don't let the existence of illegal websites intimidate you or ruin your desire to shop from the comfort of wherever you are.
Take the power back by understanding how to Identify spam websites and create a great experience shopping online.