Why we’ve built this website
People make purchases at fake webshops more often during the Christmas shopping period, trying to find better deals.
Keeping the .nz space safe, secure and trusted are Domain Name Commission’s top priorities, and dealing with fake webshops is part of our daily routine. DNC works closely with the InternetNZ research team in order to identify and disable fake webshops and is one of the known experts in the country when it comes to using machine learning to predict whether a domain name is likely to be associated with a fake webshop.
With that in mind, DNC is running a #ShopSafeNZ campaign during the holiday season, to raise public awareness and educate the public.
Safer online shopping
Shopping online – it’s something most of us do regularly. It’s fast, convenient, and best of all, often cheaper than shopping at physical stores. But with all the benefits comes an element of risk – the possibility that the item you just purchased isn’t genuine, or worse, simply won’t arrive. Then there’s always the risk of having your sensitive personal data stolen (such as credit card information).
Does it seem too good to be true?
Sometimes it doesn’t take much technical know-how to spot a scam – a little common sense can go a long way. Like the adage says, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Unbelievably large discounts on brand name products or promotions that guarantee large prizes are two examples. If the website you’re visiting seems like it might not be legitimate, there are a few more easy checks you can do to help decide whether to proceed with your purchase.
Check the domain name
You can see the domain name by checking the address bar at the top of your browser. If the text in the address bar doesn’t seem to match the content of the website, the site may not be legitimate.
If it’s a domain name that ends in .nz, you can find out who the domain name holder is by doing a registration data query at the DNC website. Check who’s listed in the Registrant Name field. If the domain name ends in .com, you can use ICANN’s WHOIS service.
Look for the padlock
When purchasing items online, make sure the site is secure – you can check this by looking for the padlock symbol in the address bar of your browser. Make sure you only enter credit or debit card details on a site that has the padlock symbol, and “https://” in front of the web address. It’s important to note the padlock doesn’t signify that you’re completely safe. It simply means that data transmitted between your browser and the site is encrypted. Enterprising scammers can and do build secure websites to give them a greater appearance of credibility.
A quick web search goes a long way
If you’re concerned about the legitimacy of an online business, a quick web search will go a long way towards either alleviating or reaffirming your concerns. Search the name of the website or business with the terms “scam” or “review” after it. Chances are, if the site is a scam, others have already been burned and may have posted reviews online.