When it comes to the internet, there is always a risk of coming across fraudulent websites. Whether you are shopping online, researching topics, or even communicating with others, it’s important to make sure that you’re visiting a legitimate site.
To help you identify if a website may be a scam, here are 13 telltale signs that you should watch out for when surfing the web and stumbling upon unknown landing pages.
1. Unprofessional Design
If the website looks outdated or poorly designed, it could suggest that the site is not legitimate and could have been created by someone without the necessary technical know-how.
Keep an eye on bad grammar, spelling mistakes, and graphics that look like they were made in Microsoft Paint.
2. No Contact Information
Legitimate companies will provide contact information, including an address and phone number, so customers can reach them for inquiries or complaints.
If this information cannot be found on the website, then it’s likely a red flag.
3. Unrealistic Promises
If a website offers guarantees of huge returns with minimal effort or skills required then chances are it is not real. Be cautious of any offer that seems too good to be true – it probably is.
4. Not Secure
Most legitimate sites will have “https://” at the beginning of their URL address which means they are secured and encrypted with SSL technology, whereas an unsecured landing page will just start with “http://” instead.
Make sure to look out for this when visiting any unknown websites, as your data may be at risk otherwise.
Also, do not fall for the idea that using reliable antivirus software or figuring out what is file vault disk encryption and enabling the feature, for example, is enough to protect yourself.
Security measures reduce the chances of facing the consequences, but they do not eliminate the threat completely.
5. Asking for Personal Information
Be very wary of any websites asking for more personal details than necessary, such as social security numbers, bank account details, or credit card numbers – all of which could easily be used for identity theft if stored incorrectly or maliciously shared online.
6. Poor Reviews & Complaints
Do some research on the company before trusting them. Look up reviews from past customers, check their social media profiles, and see what others are saying about them before signing up or agreeing to anything on their site.
7. Pressure Tactics
If you feel like you’re being pressured into making a decision quickly then it may be best to just walk away from the situation altogether, as this often indicates a scammer trying to take advantage of unsuspecting victims.
8. Fake Testimonials
Many scammers use fake testimonials from people who don’t even exist in order to convince potential customers that their product/service works well and has happy people already using it – so be sure to identify these types of tactics when browsing online.
9. Payment Requests Outside Website
Scam sites will often try to get users to pay via methods outside the website, such as wiring money through Western Union instead – never do this as your money will not be recoverable once sent.
10. Unreachable Customer Service
It should go without saying, but if customer service is unreachable either through email, phone calls, or other forms, then there is likely something fishy going on behind the scenes – proceed with caution in these cases.
11. Limited Time Offers
Any offer that requires immediate purchase decisions or claims limited availability should raise suspicion – double-check everything before taking action, just to be safe.
12. Typos & Grammar Mistakes
Be wary as to how words are spelled and used throughout the entire website – incorrect grammar and typos can indicate that perhaps less attention was paid during its creation which increases the chances of fraudulence significantly.
13. Fake Certificates & Awards
Fake certifications are often used by scammers in order to gain credibility amongst potential victims – look out for overly impressive awards or logos claiming membership in prestigious organizations, as these can easily be faked (although not always).
Taking extra care when you are on the internet can save you from becoming yet another casualty of fraudsters looking to make the most out of unsuspecting folks online.
Keep your wits about you, and don’t fall victim to these scams by memorizing and recognizing all the signs we have covered in this article.