Online shoppers are being cautioned to be vigilant for seven key signs indicating that a website may be unsafe or fraudulent. Cybersecurity experts from Keeper Security have identified these “red flags” to help consumers recognize potential dangers while shopping online. Here are the warning signs:
- Suspicious Website Address:
- Be cautious if the website address looks odd or contains spelling errors.
- Check for any substitution of letters with numbers in the URL.
- Verify the URL before clicking on it, especially if you followed a link.
- Too Good to Be True Offers:
- If an offer on the website seems excessively attractive or too good to be true, exercise caution.
- Unnecessary Information Requests:
- Be wary if the website requests unnecessary personal information, such as your Social Security number, to complete a transaction.
- Unusual Payment Methods:
- If the listed payment methods seem unusual or include platforms like Cash App, Venmo, Zelle, or wire transfers, be cautious.
- Poor Reviews:
- Check for poor reviews of the website by searching on Google or other platforms to see if customers have complained about it.
- Errors or Discrepancies:
- Watch out for errors or discrepancies on the website, such as blurry images, stock photos, poor design, or spelling errors.
- Lack of Company Information:
- If there is insufficient information available about the company on the website, consider shopping elsewhere.
By being aware of these signs, online shoppers can reduce the risk of falling victim to scams and fraudulent activities. It is essential to verify the authenticity of a website before providing any personal information or making payments.
Additional Safety Measures:
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links, especially those received unsolicited.
- Navigate to official websites manually rather than relying on links received via email or text.
- Prefer shopping on well-known and reputable websites to minimize the risk of scams.
- If you suspect a scam, contact your bank to secure your accounts.
- Change passwords if you believe you’ve signed in to a fraudulent website.