An international contact number is another major sign something is amiss. Try calling the number if you suspect something isn't right. If you don't get an answer during normal business hours or the number isn't in service, the site probably isn't legitimate. WHOIS will show you the email address and phone number associated with the account, where the site is purportedly located, and the site's creation date.
If the site is located in China and the brand is based in New York, this could be a major tipoff. A trustworthy retailer will tell you how and where to return a product you're unhappy with. Fake websites, on the other hand, will often have refund policies that are difficult to understand, hard to find or nonexistent. If you can't find the policy, try contacting the company to ask them directly.
Stay away if you get a vague answer. Also, if they're shipping the product, they should give you an idea of when it will arrive.
Be aware that the Federal Trade Commission requires sellers to ship items within 30 days of the order if no specific date is promised. Of course, bad reviews from other users is one of the biggest signs that a website is fraudulent. Type the company's name and "scam" into Google and see if there are any complaints about the site. Also, you can check the Better Business Bureau for reviews or use their Scam Tracker tool to see if others have reported the site.
If you think you've already made a purchase from a fraudulent website, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, your state attorney general, or the Better Business Bureau. Above all, go with your gut. DeMille says people are sometimes willing to suspend disbelief because they want the discounts they're seeing to be real. Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox.
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- Step #2: Check the domain name.
- Step #1: Pay attention to the address bar?
- Don't Get Duped: 4 Ways to Spot a Fake Department Store Sale.
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Best Password Manager Services. Brianna Jensen 2. Best Identity Theft Protection Services. Best Credit Monitoring Services. By Kate Herrick. Step 2: Check the domain name A favorite trick of scammers is to create websites with addresses that mimic those of large brands or companies, like Yah Step 3: Look up the domain age Scammers know that more people will be shopping online during the holidays than usual, so they put together real-looking websites very quickly around those times. Step 4: Watch for poor grammar and spelling An excess of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar mistakes could indicate that a website went up quickly.
Step 5: Look for reliable contact information Look for several ways to contact the company phone, email, live chat, physical address and try them out. Look at what else is on the site. Step 6: Use only secure payment options Shopping websites should offer standard payment options, such as credit cards or PayPal. There are several free resources that let you do a quick scan for viruses, phishing, malware, and known scam sites: Is It Hacked?
VirusTotal PhishTank FTC Scam Alerts The best way to protect yourself against malicious websites is to install antivirus software on all your devices and to keep it up to date.
Web 2.0: Facebook Links
Double-check emailed links. Step 9: Do your research beforehand A quick online search of reviews of a website will tell you a lot. Step Be proactive about protecting your information If you visited a site that seemed sketchy or want to stay on top of protecting your identity, we recommend using a variety of tools: A password manager to keep your personal information safe from hackers Identity protection services to keep your identity safe in case of a breach Credit monitoring to lock down your finances Each of these services offers another way to keep an eye on your personal and financial information.
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How to Spot A Fake Website: Don’t Get Phished:
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These criminals are not just looking to steal your stocking-stuffer money. They're after your sensitive personal information, too, so they can use it for identity fraud and banking scams. How are they doing it? The company ran a query of popular retailer brand names alongside the keywords"Black Friday" against its global blacklist and mobile app database and found that 5. Running the same query with "Cyber Monday" instead yielded 44 malicious apps out of Although RiskIQ did not reveal the top retailer brands that they tested, their analysis revealed 6, malicious apps that were pretending to offer holiday shopping deals but in reality, they are scams.
And don't even think that you're safe if you're using apps from the official app stores. RiskIQ noted that the Google Play store hosted most of the blacklisted apps found in the second quarter of Another method that crooks are employing to victimize deal hunters is through malicious websites. RiskIQ's analysis outed more than 1. Click here to check out RiskIQ's full report.
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Phishing techniques usually come in the form of spam emails advertising special sales and phony gift cards. But more sophisticated con artists will set up realistic-looking online shops. To put it mildly, if one of these merchants receives your payment information, you will get more than you bargained for.