6 Ways to Check if a Website is Legit or Trying to Scam You

6 Ways to Check if a Website is Legit or Trying to Scam You

There are two types of scam. There are the sophisticated ones, and there are dumb-dumb trappers. The dumb-dumb trappers will spell things wrong and make obvious mistakes so that only vulnerable people will use them (weeding out the smart people and only targeting the feeble minded). Then there are sophisticated scams that do everything from trick you into giving your information, to tricking you into buying a laser engraver for 60% off. You cannot fully protect yourself from scammers unless you simply decide not to buy. Nevertheless, here are six things you can try in order to beat the scammers.

1. Use Reputation Checkers

Tools like Web Paranoid use several key markers, and then rank them to create a danger score. For example, if the Whois information is hidden and the website is brand new, then it gets a lower score. If people are complaining about the website online, then its score falls lower. Typically, reputation checkers are good for checking the technical stuff.

2. No Reviews or No Bad Reviews

Good companies get bad reviews. There is always some nutcase out there. There was a guy whose house burnt down, and even though his PlayStation 5 still worked after the fire, he complained that the discs were difficult to get out of the melted device. When a company has no reviews or no bad reviews, then it is using a reputation management team or it is brand new or has changed its name recently.

3. Trying Too Hard

The spelling and grammar is perfect, the images are great and the website has some cool page transitions. All seems right doesn't it? However, the website has timed offers that are counting down. It tells you it only has a few of its items left and they will soon be gone forever. The website even tells you how 32 other people are looking at the object right now. In short, it is trying every sleazy car sales tactic in the book. It is trying too hard, and such desperation is classic of websites that need to make money fast or go bust.

4. A Cheap Setup

Good scams will have good websites, but some websites look like very cheaply templates WordPress or Shopify websites. This is because the website is disposable. It will be abandoned in a few weeks after the complaints build up. Then it is on to the next cheap website, the next cheaply bought domain and the next scam.

5. They Keep Using "Trust Builders"

There is a YouTube scam and Twitter scam that uses the image and names of Mr Beast and Elon Musk. The adverts run on YouTube and Twitter, so you figure there is no reason not to believe them. They are exceptionally effective because people trust the YouTube and Twitter advertising platforms, and they trust the attached names. These are trust building tools, and real companies don't need them. Amazon doesn't have badges on its home page saying, “Trump and Biden both buy from us” and “100% guaranteed satisfaction” badges. An over-reliance on trust builders means the website creators are stupid, or they are scamming you, and neither circumstances work out well for you. If "Dr Wilberforce" of Oxford University U claims the website is legit, perhaps give it a miss.

6. You Can’t Know For Sure

The fact is that the scammers know all the ways you are going to check them for scams. They are going to come up with good URLs that can be trusted, they are going to give real contact information, they are even going to fool Google. Their only hope is that you don't use reputation tools to check if they are keeping it real.

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