How to Identify and Avoid Scam websites
They say everything that has an advantage has a disadvantage! What is the disadvantage of Payspieloo? I don’t know. You tell me. But hey, many people out there have become victims of a scam. Scammers have become smarter and use new tactics. Hence, scam websites!
Duh! Duh!! Duh!!!
A scam website is used by scammers to trick users and rob them of their personal or financial data, or most fraudulent and grievous, their money! Their hard-earned cash!
Some people are heartless.
I always say that the world wide web is like a dark alley. You don’t know anyone, and no one knows you. If you find anyone calling your name, you should be wary. Never trust anyone easily with anything you cannot afford to lose.
As much as the advantages or benefits the internet presents are, there are ills too. You must understand that not everyone online operates with a noble purpose. Where you find good people, there are others hiding and carrying out nefarious activities, like identity theft to fraud.
This article will discuss how you can identify scam websites and how you can protect yourself from them online.
How Do Scam Websites Work?
There are many scam formats. But when it comes to scam websites, the most common niche is investment scams.
In this case, the goal of the scammer is to lure you into paying him a certain amount to ‘invest,’ with a promise of an exciting ROI in a short period. After you enter, you have to get other people in to ‘invest’ too so that the scammer can pay you from their own ‘investment,’ and then you are happy and you want to ‘reinvest’… The circle will continue until one of you (you or the scammer) gets tired of delivering (investors or payment), and the website will crash!
A scam website may be created to either get your personal information or financial information in other instances. The victim will be tricked into releasing this info…
Scam websites misguide users, and you literally see them mostly only advertised on social media, emails, pop-ups, text messages, etc. Sometimes, they can manipulate the SEO for specific keywords. When you search Google, their sites will most likely appear in top positions.
Most of these scam websites use exciting baits to draw attention. Then, they coax victims into doing whatever they want. These scammers can harvest personal information and use it for various illegal purposes, like selling data to email list buyers, etc., or they may infect their victims’ devices with malicious software intended to stalk them until they steal their money.
Scammers have ways and means of manipulating their victims to believe that their websites are reliable and valid. This may even involve influencers and celebrities.
Some scam websites are deliberately designed to look exactly like legal websites that are already operated by reputed companies or government agencies. These ones will use a deliberate typo in the domain name to make their URL only slightly different.
There are some that design their scam websites in such a way to touch the emotions of visitors and push them until they ignore their natural gut instincts.
Steps to Identify if a Website is fake, scam, or fraudulent
Here are some of the things you must look at before you input any details of yourself or your financial information on any website:
1. Are you looking to Invest?
If you want to invest, you must invest with reputable companies. Some scammers may lure you in with a possible investment amount and promise a high ROI for you to sit and do nothing. One rule of thumb is, nobody is dumb enough to slave for you. For instance, Payspieloo will not accept any investment from you. (On Payspieloo, you pay money to register your e-wallet, which is like your personal blockchain. Whatever money you use to fund your wallet is used to enter into games where your earnings depend on your winning or losing. That is not an investment. It is an offer.)
You can identify an investment scam website by following these steps.
2. Check the URL
Most scam websites can be spotted right from the URLs. Many scammers believe that you may not check website URLs when you browse the web. Nonetheless, the address bar contains a lot of vital information on how secure a website is. To examine a URL, you need to learn how a URL is built.
So, you have to ensure that the website has a little padlock before the URL. Any website without that padlock is not working on an HTTPS protocol. If that site asks you to drop any kind of data from you, it is unsafe.
You should also look out for
- the quality of the images on the website,
- grammar and spelling mistakes,
- especially their social media presence. (Genuine brands and sites try to maintain a healthy presence on multiple social media sites).
3. Check the Contact Us Page
A valid website should have essential pages that will help any visitor to know the brand personally. The site should have both an “About-Us” page and a “Contact” page. If these are missing or contain vague info, it is safest for you to exit the website.
Some scam websites do not have a contact us page or may only give a form to fill, with no location or other identifiable coordinates. Any valid company offering products or services should have a verifiable location and a working phone number and email to contact them. Payspieloo has a phone number you can use to contact our Customer Support if you have any questions or suggestions.
Nevertheless, some scammers mean business. Some scam websites copy location and contact details or even embed maps and social media links from the website they are pretending to be or anywhere else. You should always exercise caution. Take care to call for confirmation.
4. The About Us Page
A valid website must have an About Us Page. That is a valid point for visitors and potential buyers to understand the business. The absence of this page may denote possible fraudulent activities.
How to Stay Secure Online
Here are some tips to help you stay safe online:
- Be wary of JUICY promises: Investment is a risk. Any investment that is not telling you of the risk is a potential fraud. Investments like real estate may have an upside for a while and still come down later. Forex and cryptocurrency are also unpredictable markets. Always look out for fake promises. Mostly, if it is too good to be true, it is not.
- Always check for the site’s security: Before you provide your personal details or financial data to any website, you must check that it is secure. The brand name should come after the URL with a padlock.
- Quick Google search: Pick the site’s name without the .com, .org, or whatever comes after the dot. Then search for it online. You should get some background information. From what others say about it, you will be able to know a scam website.
- Check the domain name: Paying via a bank transfer is not a good idea. If you believe the site is legitimate, they should have other options such as Paystack, Interswitch or Paypal, where you can use your ATM card. This is in case something goes wrong in the future. You can easily file for a refund. Refunding your money when you’ve been scammed if you paid via bank transfer is more like trying to lift Stonehenge.
So, we have discussed everything on how to identify scam websites and what you can do to be safe from scams. Always remember these tips whenever you surf the internet. Drop a comment below and tell us your experience with scammers and scam websites. We will really love to learn from you.
Don’t stop playing!