To spot a scam website, you need to do a little research. You need to know certain important â€œfishyâ€ things about scam websites and then, match them with the websites you are dealing with. Below are a few tips which can help you do it:
1. Check the website thoroughly: Check the URL of the website. Check if it is a domain or a subdomain of a free blog or a free website or web hosting provider. If it is a sub domain of some other site, visit the original site and find out if it is authentic.
2. Spot fishy content: A scam website is often done in a slipshod way. It can often be an exact copy of another popular site. For instance, in Facebook Password Reset scam, you are directed to a website that has an exact replica of the Facebook login page. Scam websites have content lifted from other sites. You can use sites like Copyscape to detect if content is copied. Fake sites do not offer all information. If it is an online auction site, you may not find all the details about products on it.
3. Check the About Us page: Important. Check who is the owner/which is the company that manages the site. Better to check the owner of the site on Who.is and then, find out if the site owner matches the names mentioned in the About Us page. Fake sites have little content in About Us. There are no physical addresses or phone numbers given. Worse, the email id is not of the site but from a free service email provider.
4. Check for site security: If the site has online money transaction options, check the security level of the site. Some fake sites put up SSL, VeriSign and other security logos. But if you analyze, they may not really be members of such sites. Also, check if the URL changes from â€œhttp://â€ to â€œhttps://â€ during transactions. This is the mark of a secure site.
5. Check for site reputation, customer support: If you are planning to shop through the site, check for reviews about it online. Mouthshut.com is a good place to start. You can find reviews elsewhere too.