Is the offer too good to be true?
Significants discounts, free gifts and delivery, testimonials that look too good to be real are all warning signs.
What about the currency?
Can you clearly understand, what currency is used on the website? If not, like on our fake webshop, the online store could be unreliable.
What payment options are available?
If you see multiple payment options in the web store (e.g. as payment systems logos), but only one is available during checkout, it is a warning sign!
See watermarks on images?
Check images on the website – are they good quality, consistent in style photographs? Or are they low resolution pictures with photostock watermarks on them? If the latter, the store is probably not good to trust it with your credit card details.
Spelling mistakes, typos, inconsistent fonts and bolding are indicating something is wrong with the webshop. Does it look like someone copied and pasted bits and pieces of content and product descriptions from all over the Internet? Does the content look like its main creator is Google.Translate? We wouldn’t buy there.
Format and layout
Bad formatting, inconsistency in content formatting, non-responsive website that doesn’t fit on a smaller screen are also warning signs.
What is not there?
Sometimes things that are not on the website matter a lot. Before making an online purchase, check:
- Is there a returns policy on the website? Is it in plain English and says clearly what to do to return your purchase?
- Is it clear where the business is located? Is it in New Zealand or overseas? Can you understand where does you parcel come from?
- Is there contact info, other than a contact form? Does a business have a professional email rather than free one at Gmail, Yahoo, etc.?
No returning policy, no location, no contact details, no professional email means no purchase in the webshop.
Have you checked the domain’s WHOIS information?
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.
Have a closer look at the registration info: are there any discrepancies? For example, fake webshop’s owners might list their home address in Timbuktu, Australia. Or they can use obviously fake name, e.g. Admin Admin. Fake registration details are signalling that the webshop is not to be trusted.