Scam Alert! How to Spot a Fake Online Business; It’s important to do your due diligence before handing over money to someone who has asked you to invest in their online business, or to buy something from them online.
There are many online scams out there, and plenty of them prey on innocent people who want to do the right thing and help someone else out while they earn some extra money, or just save a few bucks on their next purchase.
Here are some warning signs to watch out for when doing business online that could mean you’re being scammed.
Are they asking you for your payment details?
A legitimate online business should never ask for your payment details upfront. If you’re ever asked to input your credit card or bank account information before even creating an account, that’s a huge red flag.
There are plenty of free trials and sign-ups out there, so there’s no need to hand over any sensitive information until you’re sure you want to commit. You’ll also be less likely to be scammed if you use Google Wallet, Paypal, or another service that provides some level of protection.
If they claim they’re an expert but have no credentials: Expertise can’t be bought – it’s something that is earned through years of experience and expertise in the field. So when someone claims to be an expert but has no credentials whatsoever, that should set off all sorts of alarm bells.
Not only does this person not know what they’re talking about, but chances are good that their advice will lead you down the wrong path and result in costly mistakes.
So always do your research and verify that anyone giving you advice actually knows what they’re talking about by looking at their resume or checking with people who’ve worked with them in the past.
Is The Website or Sales Page Out of Date?
One of the first things you should look for when trying to spot a fake online business is whether or not the website or sales page is out of date.
If it looks like it was made in the 1990s, chances are it’s a scam. Other things to look for include misspellings, broken links, and generic stock photos.
If the website or sales page is full of typos, that’s another red flag. And if there are no contact details listed, be wary.
For example, on a website selling an exclusive product, there would ideally be information about how to reach customer service.
If the only way to contact them is through an email address without any phone number, that’s also a warning sign.
If they claim that they’re from some country you’ve never heard of before – like New Zelandia – they’re probably lying.
Do they use poor grammar and spelling?
One of the first things you should look for when trying to spot a fake online business is their use of grammar and spelling.
If they constantly make mistakes, it’s likely that they’re not a legitimate company.
Also, be wary of businesses that use too much slang or jargon – this could be another sign that they’re not legitimate.
It’s also important to check out the websites listed on their social media pages.
You can usually tell if they’re using a template site by looking at how many followers they have on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If they don’t seem to have any real followers, chances are they’re using one of these templates.
Another thing you can do is search the name of the company in Google Images; if all the images show up as blank space then there’s a good chance it’s a fake website.
Finally, read reviews left by other customers who’ve purchased from them, if most reviews are negative then chances are it’s not an authentic website.
Read Also: How Make Money On Instagram
Have there been lots of complaints about them online?
One of the first things you should do when considering an online business is to check for reviews and complaints. A simple Google search can reveal a lot about a company. If there are lots of complaints, that’s a big red flag.
You should also be wary of businesses that have only positive reviews; these could be fake.
If it’s owned by one person or corporation then it’ll likely have more legitimacy than one owned by multiple people or corporations. In addition, if it has been around for at least five years without any issues, that’s another sign.
The bottom line is that if you’re looking to buy anything from them – whether a product or service – don’t be afraid to ask questions before sending money!
Where Is Their Business Address?
If an online business doesn’t have a listed address, be wary. This is a major red flag that the business may not be legitimate.
A legitimate business will have no problem listing their address online for potential customers to see. If you can’t find an address, move on.
What about social media?: Social media profiles are another indicator of legitimacy. Have they been active on any social media platforms? Do they look like someone who could actually run a business? Are they responsive and friendly? Be cautious if they only have very few or old posts.
Look at their profile picture and read reviews left by previous customers. It’s also worth doing a quick search on Google to see what comes up.
If there’s anything shady, it should pop up. In addition, make sure to check out the contact page to see how easy it is to get in touch with them before signing up for anything! You want to know you’ll be able to reach them easily if you need assistance or something goes wrong.
You might want to even call their phone number just to confirm they’re really who they say they are. Finally, take a look at the services offered on the website and compare them with other websites around – this is one way of spotting fakes.
The prices seem too good to be true? Too bad – keep looking because chances are it is too good (or too bad) to be true.
Now that you’ve learned how to spot a fake online business, do your research and don’t risk getting scammed!
Do they have any bad reviews on Trustpilot, Yelp, TripAdvisor etc. ?
When you’re looking for reviews of a business online, it’s important to check out more than one site.
That way, you can get a well-rounded view of what people are saying. And, if you see a lot of bad reviews on different sites, that’s a huge red flag that the business might be a scam.
Another thing to look at is the location of their offices and headquarters. If they don’t have an office in your country, then there’s a good chance they’re fake.
Lastly, make sure they have customer service phone numbers and other contact information listed somewhere on their website or social media profiles so you can reach them directly about any questions or concerns you may have about their services.
Once you’ve gone through all these steps, hopefully this guide will help you spot a fake online business before getting scammed.
Do they have an email address on their website?
One of the first things you should do when trying to determine if an online business is legitimate is see if they have an email address listed on their website.
If they don’t, that’s a huge red flag. The lack of an email address could mean they’re trying to avoid being contacted, which is often the case with scammers. Alternatively, they may not know how to set up an email account or they may not be aware of how important it is for customer service.
Either way, this isn’t a good sign and you should think twice before giving them your money. Do they have a phone number?: It’s also wise to check if they offer a phone number.
A phone number can give you peace of mind, as you’ll always be able to contact someone in person if something goes wrong with your order or delivery.
What do Google results say about them?
The first step in spotting a fake online business is to do a quick Google search. If the business has been around for awhile, there should be plenty of information about them online.
However, if there are no results or only a few results, that should be a red flag. You can also try searching for reviews of the business. If there are mostly negative reviews, that’s another sign that the business might not be legitimate.
On the other hand, positive reviews can be misleading because they may have been written by paid reviewers. Take a look at what others are saying on social media and on review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List.
Don’t forget to check out their Facebook page as well! A lot of companies will post pictures and updates to keep people up-to-date with what they’re doing. If you see posts without any commentary, it’s probably because they don’t have many followers.
But when you see a post that says we reached 100 likes today! you know this company knows how to keep customers happy (and engaged).
Rely on Your Browser
When you’re considering an online purchase, take a close look at the website. Is it well-designed and professional looking? Or does it look like it was put together quickly and cheaply? A fake online business will often have a poorly designed website.
If they do offer free shipping, be careful: there may be hidden fees or charges that aren’t listed on the site. Ask questions before you buy: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Be sure to ask lots of questions before committing to any purchases from sites you’re not familiar with. If you can’t get answers to your questions, then consider buying elsewhere.
Look for customer reviews: Reviewers are usually very honest about what they liked and didn’t like about a product or service so if you can find reviews for the item in question, those can be helpful when trying to determine whether it’s worth purchasing.
Has the price increased suddenly in recent months?
If you’re thinking about starting an online business, beware of scammers! Unfortunately, there are many people out there who are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting entrepreneurs.
Here are some red flags to watch out for when looking for a new e-commerce site:
- Has the price increased suddenly in recent months?
- Is the website poorly designed?
- Are their ads on social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram?
- Is the site hosted by someone else? -Do they have testimonials from verified customers?
- What is the security of their checkout process?
- How do they handle refunds and exchanges?
Look for a Trust Seal.
A trust seal is like a stamp of approval from a third-party organization that verifies the legitimacy of a website.
If you see a trust seal, that means the site has been vetted and approved by an outside entity. However, not all trust seals are created equal. Some are more reputable than others.
For example, VeriSign uses SSL encryption on their logos. To ensure you’re on a secure page with their logo at the top of your browser window, look for https at the beginning of the URL in your address bar.