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How to Identify and Avoid Fake Shopping Websites?


Brady Yonng

May 5, 2023 | 7 min read
  • Tips




Online shopping is a convenient and efficient way of making purchases, but it also comes with certain risks. Some unscrupulous merchants take advantage of fake shopping websites to deceive users, tricking them into giving away their money or personal information.




What are fake shopping websites?

What methods do fake shopping websites use to deceive users?

How to identify fake shopping websites?

How to avoid fake shopping websites?

Why use MetroVPN for online shopping?


What are fake shopping websites?


Fake shopping websites are those that mimic legitimate retailers or brands, or use false offers or products to attract users. These websites often appear during popular holidays or large-scale shopping events, exploiting users' desire to make purchases and luring them into placing orders or providing sensitive information.


What methods do fake shopping websites use to deceive users?


① Pretending to be legitimate brands

They use domain names, logos, designs, or images that resemble or are identical to those of reputable retailers or brands, making users believe they are genuine websites.

② Exaggerated low prices

They offer extremely low prices, high discounts, or time-limited offers, making users think they are getting a great deal while overlooking other details.

③ Fake product reviews

They use fabricated product reviews, sales figures, stock availability, or countdown timers, creating a sense of urgency and social validation to prompt users to make quick purchases.

④ Insecure payment methods

They employ insecure payment methods and require users to provide their banking card numbers, passwords, verification codes, or other sensitive information, with the intention of stealing users' financial details.

⑤ Unclear contact information

They provide vague contact details, return policies, shipping policies, legal information, or privacy policies, making it difficult for users to seek effective solutions when encountering problems.


How to identify fake shopping websites?


① Check the URL

Verify if the website's URL uses the HTTPS protocol, if it resembles the address of reputable retailers or brands, and if there are any spelling errors or unnecessary characters.

② Examine the website's creation date

Check when the website was created and whether it was registered shortly before popular holidays or major shopping events.

③ Inspect the website's text

Examine the website's text for grammar or spelling errors, whether it conforms to formal business language, and if there is any duplicated or inconsistent content.

④ Evaluate the website's design

Assess whether the website's design is simplistic or crude, if it has a complete navigation bar and categories, and if there are any obvious errors or flaws.

⑤ Review the prices

Check if the prices of the products on the website are reasonable, excessively low, or significantly different from prices on other websites.

⑥ Verify the contact information

Ensure that the website provides clear, reasonable, secure, and consumer-friendly contact information, return policies, shipping policies, legal information, and payment methods.


How to avoid fake shopping websites?


① Resist temptation

Avoid being enticed by false discounts during shopping seasons. Carefully compare prices and quality on different websites, and review product ratings and sales figures.

② Investigate the website

Thoroughly examine the authenticity and credibility of the website before placing an order. Use free online tools to verify the website's security and legitimacy.

③ Choose secure payment methods

Use secure payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, WeChat Pay, or other reputable third-party payment platforms. Avoid providing unnecessary personal information.

④ Inspect the received goods

Promptly check the quality and quantity of the received goods, and retain the order number, invoice, tracking number, and contact information for future reference.

⑤ Protect your rights

Contact the website's customer service or complaints department immediately when encountering issues, and keep evidence such as screenshots, recordings, or videos to protect your rights.


Why use MetroVPN for online shopping?


① Hide your real IP address and location to prevent tracking and monitoring.

② Encrypt your network traffic to prevent eavesdropping and tampering.

③ Unlock the websites and content you want to access, no matter where you are.

④ Enjoy faster internet speeds and a more stable connection, regardless of the device you use.


MetroVPN offers several advantages:

① Support for multiple platforms and devices, such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS.

② 6500+ servers available in multiple countries and regions worldwide, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and more.

③ Encrypt all user internet traffic to ensure online security and anonymity.

④ 24/7 customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.


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