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How to recognize a fake site

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How to recognize a fake site: Making scams on the Internet is relatively simple: just register a website with false data, create an online store, “place” products at affordable prices and wait for someone to bite on the bait. A low dose of forethought and a minimum of distraction can therefore be fatal if for some reason you find yourself in such sites. To avoid falling into similar traps scattered around the Web, therefore, it is of fundamental importance to know how to recognize and avoid fake sites created by cyber criminals.

How to recognize a fake site

While you’re here, how about I give you some “tips” about it and I’ll explain  how to recognize a fake site ? I guarantee you that you don’t have to know who knows what computer skills to be able to do such a thing. Since your safety depends, I advise you to read this guide in its entirety: in this way you will not be unprepared and you will be able to recognize any scams perpetrated online.

Courage: make yourself comfortable, take the time you need to focus on reading the next paragraphs and, more importantly, implement the suggestions that you will find in the next lines. I can assure you that at the end of the tutorial you will have much clearer ideas on how to identify fake and fraudulent sites and, if necessary, you will also be ready and well available to provide all the necessary explanations to your friends in need of receiving similar “tips” . I wish you a good read and, above all, I’ll give you a big good luck for everything!

Check the connection type and domain

Checking the type of connection and the name of a site is one of the first precautions that you must take if you want to  recognize a fake site . I know, it might seem somewhat “trivial” as a suggestion: pity, however, that the statistics regarding the scams perpetrated online show that in reality a large portion of users do not pay much attention to it.

I therefore urge you to make sure that the sites you visit, especially when you are about to shop online and / or to release personal information on your account, use the  HTTPS ( HyperText Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer ) protocol , which indicates the presence of a secure connection (the ” S “, in fact, stands for ” Secure “).

Are you wondering how you can verify this information? Simple: just take a look at the address bar of the browser in use, in which a green lock should be shown next to the name of the website and the word https: // before its domain.

In addition to checking the connection type of a site, I recommend that you also pay attention to its domain name  (or second level domain ). For what reason? Sometimes scammers, especially those who spread  fake news , use domain names very similar to those of authoritative sites, maybe they change only one letter , often managing to deceive the user who does not notice what happened.

Check the Web Reputation


Checking the Web Reputation of a site , or the reputation that users of the Web have of the same, can help you recognize a fake site from an authentic one. You can use search engines such as Google for this purpose .

Doing a simple Google search to find out the reputation of a website is a fairly simple but at the same time effective operation when it comes to finding a fake website. To do this, connected to the  home page  of the search engine, write the domain name of the site in the search bar in the center of the page followed by the term opinions or reviews , presses on the button of the  magnifying glass and then selects the result or results that you think may interest you most.

If you want to use Google Groups for this purpose  , instead,  click here to connect to the home page of the service, use the search bar located at the top by typing the domain name of  the site accompanied by the term opinions or reviews and click on the lens- shaped button to zoom in to start searching for information; then select the result or results that interest you to check the reputation of the site that interests you.

Another tool that can be very useful for checking the reputation of a site, and more particularly that of an online store, is TrustPilot , which collects users’ opinions on the many Italian and international sites. Using it is really child’s play: just type the address of the site to be verified in the search bar located in the center of the home page and select one of the suggestions that appear, at the bottom, as you type.

Even social networks can be very useful to check the reputation of a site. For example, if the site you want to examine has an official Facebook page , by connecting to it and analyzing the comments section, you can easily detect the presence of complaints or complaints about any disservices detected by users. On  Twitter , however, a simple search for the site name should return all the tweets in which it appears: if the tweets are all negative, it means that the site has something wrong!


Understand if an online store or seller is a scam

Even if you have carried out a thorough search on search engines, perhaps using different keywords, you cannot find information regarding the site for which you would like more information about its reliability? Well, most likely it is a newly created website which, added to the factors already seen previously, could be an indication of poor reliability.

By this I certainly don’t mean that all the newly created websites are a scam, far from me! I simply invite you to pay special attention to it if you notice something suspicious. In this case, it is better to wait for a number of reviews to be available online to allow you to get an idea of ​​the site in question.

In any case, you can check the creation date of the reference website and various other information concerning it using the DNSStuff service . Then, connect to its  main page and fill out the form below the WHOIS Lookup item by typing the address of the Internet site of your interest and then pressing the arrow- shaped button located on the side, on the right. Once this is done, a new screen will appear with the data of the owner of the website (if these are available) and, under the Created date item , the date of creation of the website.

Check if a site is dangerous

Understand if an online store or seller is a scam

Many of the Internet sites of sellers and online stores are not a scam in themselves but they can be “bearers” of cyber threats that can jeopardize the security of your computer and … even your accounts! For this reason it is of fundamental importance to check that a site is not dangerous .

To do this, I suggest you to use, if I have not already done so, a good antivirus software on your computer: maybe you can choose the ones you think can do the most for you by consulting my guide dedicated to  free antivirus  (such as Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition  and  Avast Free Antivirus ) and paid antivirus  (such as AVG  and Kaspersky ). Given and considered that prudence is never too much, you can also use some of them on your mobile devices, perhaps after having taken a look at the guide dedicated to  antivirus for Android .

Secondly, I invite you to use some special extensions for web browsers that can be particularly useful for understanding if a specific website is dangerous. There are really many that can be used for this purpose: here are some that can be right for you.

  • Traffic Light – is an extension developed by the famous Bitdefender software house (known for having created various IT security software, including antivirus ) and available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari: it provides users with an anti-malware filter very advanced, allows you to protect yourself from phishing attacks, allows you to identify attacks from crackers and scan links. It’s free.
  • MyWOT – it is an extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari that is very popular and reliable: it inserts an icon near the address bar of the browser depicting a green , yellow or red circle   (depending on the security of the page ) based on the reviews issued by the users themselves. It’s free.

Use common sense

Using common sense is essential to avoid falling victim to fraudulent websites. Of all the tips I have given you so far, this is certainly the most important of all. Therefore, when you visit a site, in addition to adopting the precautions I told you about during the tutorial, try to use common sense to identify any dangers.

For example, if you want to buy a product from an e-commerce site (even if, from your “surveys”, it turns out to be reliable), carefully evaluate the announcement of your interest: maybe you could be careful that the sale price declared in the The ad is not inexplicably lower than that of other ads or other portals and that the seller does not make “strange” requests, perhaps in relation to the accepted payment methods.

As I have already shown you in other guides – such as those in which I explain how to prevent online scams , how to avoid rental scams , how to shop safely online  – common sense is the best “weapon” you have at your disposal: make good use of it and always check feedback from other buyers on ad sites, auctions and online stores.