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Fake Shops on the Internet – You should avoid these sites!

Increasing digitization and the growth of online retail that has accompanied it have brought a number of advantages in recent years, including the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your own home and a greater selection of products than ever before. However, this increase also has a dark side, especially in the form of “fake shops”. These fraudulent online stores lure customers with low prices, but either fail to deliver the products or provide inferior goods that do not match the description.

fake-shops-im-internet

Topic Overview

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The list of scammers keeps getting longer…

Unfortunately, there is no complete list of all fake shops, as they often appear and disappear quickly to avoid law enforcement. However, the German consumer advice center (NRW) has published a list that lists many of the fake shops that you should avoid. In the further course of this article, you can read about the features that many fake shops have in common that you should pay attention to in order not to fall into the trap.

Fake Shops on the Internet – You should avoid these sites!

Increasing digitization and the growth of online retail that has accompanied it have brought a number of advantages in recent years, including the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your own home and a greater selection of products than ever before. However, this increase also has a dark side, especially in the form of “fake shops”. These fraudulent online stores lure customers with low prices, but either fail to deliver the products or provide inferior goods that do not match the description.

fake-shops-im-internet

Topic Overview

Anzeige

The list of scammers keeps getting longer…

Unfortunately, there is no complete list of all fake shops, as they often appear and disappear quickly to avoid law enforcement. However, the German consumer advice center (NRW) has published a list that lists many of the fake shops that you should avoid. In the further course of this article, you can read about the features that many fake shops have in common that you should pay attention to in order not to fall into the trap.

How to recognize fake shops – The characteristics

How to recognize fake shops – The characteristics

Incredibly low prices
The main selling point of many fake shops is incredibly low prices, well below market value. While there are legitimate stores that offer goods at heavily discounted prices, extremely low prices should always be seen as a potential red flag.

Unprofessional website design
Many fake shops are unprofessional in their design and contain grammatical or spelling mistakes. They may also contain poorly formatted images or logos that have been copied and pasted. A confusing design or incorrect navigation can also be an indication of a fake shop.

Insecure payment methods
Fake shops often require payment in advance, by bank transfer, or other insecure methods. They rarely offer secure payment methods like PayPal or credit card, as these forms of payment allow for chargebacks.

Missing or unclear contact information
Legitimate businesses usually have clear contact information, including a physical address and phone number. If this information is missing from a website, is unclear, or if the only way of contact is via an anonymous online form, it could be a fake shop.

Missing or bad reviews
Online reviews can be a useful source of information to verify a store’s legitimacy. If there are no reviews at all or there are mostly negative reviews, you should be careful. You should also search through various rating portals for shops that you do not know. Because the scammers also invest money in fake reviews!

Missing SSL encryption
SSL encryption (recognizable by the “https” in front of the web address) is standard for reputable online shops. If this is missing, this is a clear sign of possible fraud.

Finally, it’s important to remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to check online stores before making a purchase and trust your instincts. Security in online trading is ultimately a combination of vigilant awareness and responsible action.

Incredibly low prices
The main selling point of many fake shops is incredibly low prices, well below market value. While there are legitimate stores that offer goods at heavily discounted prices, extremely low prices should always be seen as a potential red flag.

Unprofessional website design
Many fake shops are unprofessional in their design and contain grammatical or spelling mistakes. They may also contain poorly formatted images or logos that have been copied and pasted. A confusing design or incorrect navigation can also be an indication of a fake shop.

Insecure payment methods
Fake shops often require payment in advance, by bank transfer, or other insecure methods. They rarely offer secure payment methods like PayPal or credit card, as these forms of payment allow for chargebacks.

Missing or unclear contact information
Legitimate businesses usually have clear contact information, including a physical address and phone number. If this information is missing from a website, is unclear, or if the only way of contact is via an anonymous online form, it could be a fake shop.

Missing or bad reviews
Online reviews can be a useful source of information to verify a store’s legitimacy. If there are no reviews at all or there are mostly negative reviews, you should be careful. You should also search through various rating portals for shops that you do not know. Because the scammers also invest money in fake reviews!

Missing SSL encryption
SSL encryption (recognizable by the “https” in front of the web address) is standard for reputable online shops. If this is missing, this is a clear sign of possible fraud.

Finally, it’s important to remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to check online stores before making a purchase and trust your instincts. Security in online trading is ultimately a combination of vigilant awareness and responsible action.

You should avoid these fake shops

You should avoid these fake shops

The consumer center NRW has published a list in which many of the well-known fake shops are listed. We have deliberately not linked the specified URLs. Because, firstly, the URL’s are also quickly changed by the operators and can no longer be reached at the old address in a very short time, and secondly, we will not support attempts at fraud on the Internet or anywhere else under any circumstances! The list also contains only an excerpt of the pages that have already been exposed. It is estimated that in Germany alone there are around 30,000 fake shops up to mischief.

We have divided the list into alphabetical blocks within which you can easily find the address you are looking for for verification:

Source: Verbraucherzentrale NRW

Better look twice

What was noticeable when browsing the list is that many addresses read very similarly to well-known domains at a cursory glance. This is one of the tricks scammers use. People just don’t look closely enough anymore. Especially on smartphones, users often fall for such sites, because it is of course more cumbersome to first check a page on the smartphone than at home on the home PC.

Tip: If you have a bad feeling, always take the time to check everything carefully. And in any case, use the payment options that offer buyer protection so that in the worst case, at least you don’t get stuck with financial damage.

The consumer center NRW has published a list in which many of the well-known fake shops are listed. We have deliberately not linked the specified URLs. Because, firstly, the URL’s are also quickly changed by the operators and can no longer be reached at the old address in a very short time, and secondly, we will not support attempts at fraud on the Internet or anywhere else under any circumstances! The list also contains only an excerpt of the pages that have already been exposed. It is estimated that in Germany alone there are around 30,000 fake shops up to mischief.

We have divided the list into alphabetical blocks within which you can easily find the address you are looking for for verification:

Source: Verbraucherzentrale NRW

Better look twice

What was noticeable when browsing the list is that many addresses read very similarly to well-known domains at a cursory glance. This is one of the tricks scammers use. People just don’t look closely enough anymore. Especially on smartphones, users often fall for such sites, because it is of course more cumbersome to first check a page on the smartphone than at home on the home PC.

Tip: If you have a bad feeling, always take the time to check everything carefully. And in any case, use the payment options that offer buyer protection so that in the worst case, at least you don’t get stuck with financial damage.

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About the Author:

Michael W. Suhr
Michael W. SuhrDipl. Betriebswirt | Webdesign- und Beratung | Office Training
After 20 years in logistics, I turned my hobby, which has accompanied me since the mid-1980s, into a profession, and have been working as a freelancer in web design, web consulting and Microsoft Office since the beginning of 2015. On the side, I write articles for more digital competence in my blog as far as time allows.
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Michael W. Suhr
Michael W. SuhrDipl. Betriebswirt | Webdesign- und Beratung | Office Training
After 20 years in logistics, I turned my hobby, which has accompanied me since the mid-1980s, into a profession, and have been working as a freelancer in web design, web consulting and Microsoft Office since the beginning of 2015. On the side, I write articles for more digital competence in my blog as far as time allows.
Blogverzeichnis Bloggerei.de

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