How To Detect a Scam or Fake Website

There are billions of websites on the internet, so how do you know the website isn’t a scam? Well, you have to do a little research before just jumping into a buying decision. Here are some ways you can detect whether a company is real, fake, or just a flat out scam.

1. Look for contact info

As a general rule of thumb, you should always look for contact info. Our philosophy is, if we can’t make direct contact with you via phone we don’t purchase from you. Most would say this is common sense, but millions of people buy from sites that have no means of contact at all. Some sites have a contact form and does not list there emails. Some sites list there emails, but don’t have phone numbers.

Once you have verified that they have contact information listed on their site, give the number a call. Be careful here because it is very inexpensive for one to purchase what’s called a “hosted PBX” system in which an automated system answers the call. In fact, one could purchase this service for as little as $9.99 a month. This is a fine line though because a majority of companies use this type of system. In fact, My Tech Team uses this type of system. However, a live sales agent is available 24/hrs a day by pressing 1 for sales. Our tech department is also available 24/hrs a day by pressing 2. The point here is to see if you get a live person. This further validates the company as legit, and you may be able to ask more information about the company.

As an additional measure, you should also look for a mailing address. This just goes to further verify the company as a legit company with an actual location. Some companies, like us, list only their P.O. Box. However, we are in the process of moving locations. Once we have completed the move, we will list both our Mailing PO Box address and our physical location with a google map as well.

2. Check the who is data base

For more information on who.is see our previous post HERE.

3. Look for testimonials

Anyone can generate fake testimonials. This is only part of verifying a legit company. This step, combined with the steps above and below will help to give you a better feeling about a company.

4. Look for Assocations

A good example of this is on our home page under “Assocations”. We list everyone that we are associated with or members of. Some associations we feel are important are

  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Any related licensing or certifications

5. Perform a review search

Last, but not least, perform a review search. Simply type in any search engine, ” ‘company x’ reviews”. Most of the time you will get reviews on a website or product or service. In the age of information, when someone is disgruntled about a particular website or service, it’s easy to find out by performing that search. You can even go a step further and search, ” ‘company x’ scam”. This will certainly turn up any information relating that company and scam. Here’s a site we use to search for reviews and scams, www.ripoffreport.com . Ripoff Report

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2 Responses to “How To Detect a Scam or Fake Website”

  1. Adam December 7, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Great list of tips here for verifying websites.

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  1. Beware of Fake Virus Scanning/PC Speed Up Software | My Tech Team Blog - April 29, 2012

    In a previous post, we discussed how to detect if a website is a scam or fake.  As a general rule of them, if all a website has is a 1-800 number and no other means of contacting them, or theydo not list any other contact information, be wary.  Also, perform a search about the software or company before you purchase.  For example, you can Google search “mycleanpc.com complaints” and read reviews on the company in order to make an informed decision.