Cybercriminals are highly skilled at creating convincing, fraudulent websites. Today we’re providing a six question checklist that can help you verify the validity of a website.
Does this website’s domain name match my expectations?
A website’s domain name identifies it as belonging to a particular domain, such as dtpartners.com. For example, support.dtpartners.com belongs to the domain dtpartners.com, however dtpartners.freeshoes.com would belong to the domain freeshoes.com.
Am I making a purchase on a website without https?
Many fake websites don’t bother purchasing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. SSL certificates secure the transfer of your data when you submit sensitive information, such as your credit card information, during the checkout process. If the website is legitimate and secure, it will show https in the URL and a lock icon in the address bar like ours:
Is the website screaming that everything is 100% genuine?
If a website has to tell you it’s the real deal, it probably isn’t. When’s the last time a credible website, such as amazon.com, had to remind you of its authenticity?
Is the company’s contact information verifiable?
Any company offering products or services should have a location, as well as a phone number and contact email. If none of this information is available, it’s likely the site is fraudulent. Similarly, if the company is selling products, it should have a shipping and returns policy listed, as well.
Is the offer too good to be true?
Scammers use low prices to attract bargain hunters to quickly sell counterfeit or non-existent products. If the price is entirely too low, you should be suspicious.
Where and when was this website created?
A quick domain WHOIS lookup will provide you with key information about a website, including who owns the site, when it was created, the country in which it was created, and how long the domain has existed. If a website was created just five days ago, for example, and you clicked over to it from a Facebook ad today, it’s most likely a scam site.