The internet is a wealth of information; but it is also an easy way to get scammed. Checking for creditable websites is easy and worth taking the time to do before you hand over any of your hard earned money.
Investigate Websites for Scam Indicators
There are certain elements that make it obvious a scam is part of a website. These elements include:
- Fees of any type
- Testimonials that only have initials, partial name
- Promises or guarantees of a better life style, love, money, lottery, or sweepstakes
- Jobs offered on line
Work at home scams are on the rise too. Again, you should be wary if you are asked to pay up front; the home page viewed is nothing but testimonials or if nothing is mentioned of the product or service unless you buy the product. To top this scam off, if you clicked on the message or website you better have excellent spyware installed to stop future barrages of pop ups or viruses.
When shopping online be alert for the lock box symbol usually located at the bottom of the page. It is there for your security and means it is a secured site. Check scams are always too good to be true – before you cash a check or do any transactions with a check, call the bank who supposedly issued the check to find out if is legitimate and/or investigate the website or email. Again, if money is requested out of your own pocket first, it is a scam – DO NOT DO IT!
Use Your Instincts
Go with your gut feeling, intuition, or the hair raising reaction some people get on the back of their neck. If something raises your suspicion, just DO NOT DO IT! Protect yourself and most importantly, protect yourself and your computer with spyware, phishing filter, or anti virus software. Remember, if a website is unknown then don’t open the website.
Take time to do the research! If you want or need to open a website, Google the company to determine if a company is reputable. You can find blogs about the company or complaints on the company. Google “Common Online Scams” and there will be a list of them or check the Better Business Bureau website. I never give out my name or any other personal information if unsure.
Reporting Scams Online
There are many websites that you can file a complaint against an online company that has scammed you. Please report these companies to the proper authorities. Here are a few websites to help you check for scams:
- Federal Trade Commission
- Better Business Bureau
- Rip OFF Report – By Consumers
- Consumer Rated Home Businesses
Easy Step By Step Instructions For Checking Scams Online
- Use good common sense when visiting a website
- If you suspect a problem or see evidence of a scam leave the site.
- Report the site to the appropriate authority
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Checking for Scams
Not every site out there is a scam ready to happen, but there are plenty. Trust common sense and think through your actions before clicking. If you’re at all uncertain – leave the site immediately.