5 Tips for Distinguishing Real Businesses From Fake Ones

The development of companies with an online presence has made buying, transactions, and doing business much more convenient for customers. However, that convenience comes with a certain amount of risk.

According to the Internet Crime Report 2021 published by the FBI, the general public reported an all-time high of 847,376 incidents of cybercrime to the FBI in 2021, representing a 7 percent rise from the previous year’s total. Fortunately, you can avoid these scams and tell if the firm you are dealing with is real or not. Here are five tips that will help you differentiate a legitimate company from a fraudulent one.


  • Check for a Physical Address

Businesses that operate online should have physical locations. Knowing the company’s actual address is one of the best ways to determine the organization’s authenticity, trustworthiness, and competency. Therefore, any website without a physical address or other means of contacting the owner should raise red flags.

If they have an actual location in the area, their mailing address and phone line will be able to attract customers from the surrounding community. In addition, by supplying a physical address, a company has the opportunity to be featured on Google Places. This boosts the company’s visibility and makes it much simpler to locate on the Internet.


  • Double-Check the Domain Name

A domain name is a crucial component of a company or individual brand. It represents their company on the Internet. In addition, people are more likely to remember a website if its domain name is unique from other sites.

Unfortunately, not all domain names are trustworthy. For example, many fraudulent websites may utilize a domain name that refers to a well-known brand or product, but they aren’t the company’s actual website. It is essential to look for the SSL certification on a website. An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that verifies the identity of a website and permits an encrypted connection between the two parties.

For example, if you check this site, you can see an icon that resembles a key or a padlock. The address bar of your web browser will display a closed padlock or key if you are dealing with a legitimate online business or site that stores personal information.


  • Read Some Online Reviews

It’s a good idea to start by reading customer evaluations on sites like Trustpilot, Feefo, and Sitejabber, which compile feedback from various sources. When looking for consistency, you should not only look at one review site but rather a number of them.

Consistent reviews make it easier to identify whether or not a business is legitimate. Data has shown that 84 percent of people place as much faith in Internet reviews as they do in a personal referral. Adding one star to a business’s Yelp rating boosts sales by 5 to 9 percent on average. On the other hand, a company can lose up to 30 consumers because of one bad review.


  • Check for a Privacy Policy

Look for a privacy policy and a corporate history on the site, which may include information about the company’s history, ethical position, and mission statement. A Privacy Policy describes how a firm or website collects and handles visitor data. It specifies if the information is confidential, shared, or sold.

Data and cookie information collected when a user visits a company’s website can be found on their Privacy Settings page. A privacy policy shows that a business values its customer’s privacy and takes it seriously. Therefore, you should be informed about how your personal information is collected, used, and safeguarded.


  • Check the WHOIS Database

You can use the WHOIS database to determine whether or not a website should be trusted. WHOIS reveals the owner of a domain name and provides contact information. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) oversees domain name registration and ownership.

A Whois record identifies the registrant of a domain name, which might be an individual, group, or company. In addition, each Whois record also contains information on the domain name’s registration dates, name servers, the most recent change, and the domain name’s expiration date.


Be Careful When You Transact Business Online

Data shows that con artists are always looking for new ways to take your money and earn a fast buck while you’re online, so you must be very careful. In addition, data showed that between 2019 and 2020, fraud reports among those under the age of 20 rose faster.

In 2020, the combined losses of many young people were over $70.98 million, or almost $3,000 per person. Following this article’s advice will help reduce these losses to a minimum.

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