How do you recognise a rogue web shop? Read our Consumer Rights tips below!
Malicious web shops are usually difficult to find in Google. That is why they often use trade sites, such as second hand shops or buy second hand tickets online shops, to attract customers. The advertisement contains a link that refers to the rogue web store. Fraudsters often use hacked accounts that have been in use for a long time. It is difficult to tell from the advertisement itself whether it is a rogue web store. You can find more information here. However, there are ways to check whether a webshop can be trusted.
Check whether the website is connected to the quality mark that it carries.
It often happens that scammers incorrectly place the logo of a brand on their website. Always go to the website of the relevant quality mark to check whether a web store is actually connected. Is there a quality mark on the website? Don’t click on any links. Go to the real website of that quality mark and check there if the web store is connected to this.
Investigate what kind of company / person is behind a website.
Search for more information via Google and via the check function on special search websites the police offers.
Check the ‘who is’ (search for ‘WHOIS’ in Google) of the domain and check when and where the domain is registered. It is suspicious if a site has only been registered recently and abroad.
Question websites that offer products (such as electronics) a lot cheaper than other well-known websites. Offers that seem too good to be true are, as a rule, often indeed too good to be true.
Do not trust a website blindly based on what the site looks like. A scammer can also be behind a professional-looking website.
View whether a web store has a physical location and whether the telephone is answered.
Be extra vigilant if you are asked to transfer money to another country, or if you are asked to pay in a special way, such as a check.
If you want to be sure that you are looking at the real website of Asos, for example, enter “Asos” on Google. The real Asos is then at the top or at least high in the results. A fake site will not be found on the first page of Google.
Fraudsters behind rogue web shops nowadays also distribute door-to-door leaflets. A brochure in your letter box therefore does not guarantee that an online store is reliable!
If you want to minimise the risk of purchasing in a web-shop, please note the following tips:
- Be careful when transferring money in advance. Never transfer too large amounts in advance to an (unknown) party.
- Online payment methods on websites are a means to safely pay with, but it is not a hallmark that a website is reliable. Malicious web shops can also use PayPal, for example.
- Trust your gut feeling and don’t buy anything through a certain website if you don’t fully trust it.
- Have packages sent by registered mail as much as possible, so that there is no discussion about the arrival of the package.
- When you pay with a credit card with purchase insurance or with Paypal, you are covered as a buyer.