How To Check If An E-Commerce Site Is A Fraud

There are actually remarkably few ways to check if an eCommerce website is a fraud. If you think about it, why would the scammer make it easy to spot fake websites? The sad fact is that the most obvious scams are meant to look like scams. They weed out the sound of mind and target the most vulnerable. The ones who really believe that Mr Beast is giving away $1000 to every follower. The scam websites that catch everybody else are far more sophisticated. 

Use a Scam-Tracking Tool

As mentioned in the introduction, scams are becoming more and more sophisticated to the point where scam-tracking tools are the only real defense. Scammers are finding new and more sophisticated ways to defraud people, so you need a team of experts who are constantly seeking out scams. Even the cheap tools that simply check online reviews are still able to do more than you are. The classic signs that a website is a fraud are easily worked around. You need a scam tracking tool powered by real humans and AI because it gives you a better chance of figuring out if a website is a fraud or not.

Take the Web Paranoid service as an example. They check everything from blacklisted server lists (something you couldn’t check) to purposefully maintained gaps in a website’s security. Web Paranoid are also following the steps being taken by Norton and are scanning the dark web for signs that regular websites are scams or frauds. The sad fact is that the dark web has a library of victims. For example, there was a security breach at GoDaddy, and the names, addresses and email addresses of most of its customers were released. That list quickly made its way to the dark web, where it was used by people who sign up for free spins on gambling sites to try to win it big.

Are There Alternatives to Scam-Checking Tools?

Honestly, there are not. Your best defense is often…defense. In other words, buy things online with a credit card, and don’t buy using money transfers or wire transfers or crypto because they are very difficult to reverse. 

Some articles tell you to look at the Google transparency report, and they say to check for the padlock on the web browser, but these are not signs of a scam. Most scammers can easily avoid and work around these identifiers. You may have read that scammers have a poor-quality social media following, but that can be worked around too. It is very easy to buy yourself an audience on social media, and in many cases, legitimate smaller businesses have a pretty poor online following because they don’t have the money to spend on social media marketing.

You Could Try Waiting

If a website is trying to push the clock, if they are trying to get you to act without thinking, then you would probably avoid them. For example, the Mr Beast scam said there were only 3211 places left. This meant that if you didn’t sign up to become a follower of the scam website soon, then the places would run out and you would miss out on your free $1000. The number of places was just high enough to sound convincing, but also low enough to make people act now rather than waiting. This is how you know it is a scam. 

If you see a new eCommerce website, and they are offering something like roller-walking shoes powered by AI. But, the shoes currently cost $1200, and you have to pre-order them, then simply wait. If the products are good, then they will still exist next year. If they are a poor quality product or a scam, then you gain nothing from buying early.

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