There are billions of websites on the internet, so how do you know the website isn’t a scam? Well, you have to do a little research before just jumping into a buying decision. Here are some ways you can detect whether a company is real, fake, or just a flat out scam.
Look for contact info
As a general rule of thumb, you should always look for contact info. Our philosophy is, if we can’t make direct contact with you via phone we don’t purchase from you. Most would say this is common sense, but millions of people buy from sites that have no means of contact at all. Some sites have a contact form but do not list any other contact information. Although, this is common for well-known companies such as Amazon.
Once you have verified that they have contact details listed on their site, give the number a call. Be careful here because it is very inexpensive for one to purchase what’s called a “hosted PBX” system in which an automated system answers the call. In fact, anyone can subscribe to this service for as little as $9.99 a month. This is a fine line though because a majority of companies use this type of system. In fact, Avantech uses this type of system. However, a live sales and support, U.S. based agent is available. The point here is to see if you get a live person. This further validates the business as legit, and it would be in your best interest to ask more information about the company, it’s practices, and so on.
As an additional measure, you should also look for a mailing address. This just goes to further verify the company as a legit company with an actual location. Some companies list only their P.O. Box.
Check the whois database
Look for testimonials
Anyone can generate fake testimonials. This is only part of verifying a legit company. This step, combined with the steps above and below will help to give you a better feeling about a company.
Look for Associations
A good example of this might be a BBB accreditation. Although, many organizations are ditching BBB.
Perform a review search
Simply type in any search engine, ” ‘company x’ reviews”. In the age of information, when someone is disgruntled about a particular website, product, or service, it’s easy to find out by performing that search. You can even go a step further and search, ” ‘company x’ scam”. This will certainly turn up any information relating that company and scam. Here’s a popular site used to search for reviews and scams, www.ripoffreport.com.
Web Of Trust
Web of Trust (WOT) is a website reputation and review service that helps people make informed decisions about whether to trust a website or not.
Simply visit www.mywot.com and enter the URL of the website in question.
Ask Your IT Support Team
In many cases, your IT team is capable of determining whether a website is fake or not. Don’t hesitate to ask them to check it out for you.