Scams are an unfortunate aspect of the world in which we live. Although with a click of a mouse it is easy to shop, there is also an increased risk that your personal information can be exploited by unscrupulous businesses. A company might look real, but in reality this could be a scam. Fortunately, there are some things that can throw the red flag, and help you stop scam artists from providing sensitive, personal information.
Reviewing a Business’s Website to Determine Legitimacy
Check the company’s website for a legitimate telephone number and address.
If there is no way to contact this company offline, it can be a red flag that is not valid business. Since receiving email and domain names is easy, email address is not as reliable as offline contact information.
Remember that both phone numbers and addresses are super easy to fake now. There is a whole industry in providing counterfeit area codes and 800 numbers. Even Google still does this, so the phone numbers are no longer a sign of the real company. Before doing business, call the local chamber of commerce associated with the address and see if they are a real brick and mortar company, or simply a referral internet company.
In other cities see to see if the alleged “local business” is using the same website for operation in other websites. If you are considered to be used for any other location, then you should be careful of the local business page. Usually these copied Fony Business web pages are used in many cities and only copied templates Are. Many people have broken the hyperlink for images and links, which is a tip-off that it can be a phishing phishing business page.
Browse the company’s website for discrepancies and indicators of professionalism.
If a website says one thing at one place, and then contradicts itself in the second place, then it is a red flag that the business is not coordinated and there may be a scandal that was hurriedly thrown together. If the website is unprofessional (for example, there are stolen images and many spelling errors), it shows that there was little thought or care in creating the website, which could indicate a “rich quick” scandal.
Review the website’s policy pages.
Look for decent content.
Foni Referral Business Sites usually do not have much content on their sites, and usually there are many legitimate companies and BBB logos on your site that cheat you to trust them. There is no stock photo or photo of buildings, employees or products of a ‘big’ tip-stock company. Avoid company if you see that stock photos of their so-called product are the easiest way to spot fake web business!
Consider how the company accepts payments.
This is a red flag when a company’s website says that they accept payment only in unsafe ways or in shady ways, such as only paper check or cash. This is because PayPal and other secondary electronic payment providers are often considered to be the safest way to pay online business. Observe the methods of payment that will allow you to get your money back if things get sour and there is no need to issue unnecessary personal information.
Determining Legitimacy Through Business Registration and Other Documentation
Make a visit to the company’s brick and mortar location.
There are ways other than using the Internet to determine if a business is legitimate. You can learn a lot about a business by simply visiting its brick and mortar location. Your visit may allow you to communicate directly with management and ownership to determine the validity.
Businesses and / or specialty businesses must clearly have their respective permits, licenses and approved registration documents on display for clients. If so, check and make sure that the displayed certificates are up-to-date.
There should be a relevant document clearly displayed on the wall by the local health and sanitation department in the restaurant. Typically, this type of documentation provides a grade to the business, and the presence of such documentation indicates the validity of the restaurant.
Check the registration data for the company website.
You can sometimes get names and information for the person who has registered the website, which you want to use for further research. Determine when the website was created and when it will end. If this was only recently created and expired soon, then it could point to a temporary cover website for a scam.
The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) provides registration authority for many websites domain names and is a great resource to determine who is the real owner of the business website you are researching on.
Research whether the business has officially registered with local, state or federal authorities.
Businesses that work as LLCs, Corporations or other official Business Unit vehicles, they need to register with the Secretary of State, where they are working. Similarly, businesses paying wages to employees are assigned state and federal employer identification numbers. A business listing in a state or federal list reveals that they are a reputable business.
Review the business website or promotional material, whether they use the words “LLC”, “Ink”, “corp” in their official business name. If so, you should be able to determine that the secretary of state websites check that the company is properly registered, and thus has the right to use special business unit type designation in their names.
Check the Better Business Bureau.
Both the local and national branches of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are committed to provide relevant and useful information about the businesses that work within their communities. BBB’s website allows you to search for specific business names, and also provides general information about scandals and fraud trends.
The lack of listing on BBB does not mean that business is a scam. In fact, some BBB listing pages have become such a place where consumers can independently complain of the scam of a business as well as the past scandals.
Use industry organizations to determine legitimacy.
Some industries have regulatory bodies, which require registration to maintain relevant licenses and certificates. Local and national industry organizations can provide relevant information to the public about their members and specific businesses who have successfully registered with the industry organization.
Use a company credit report to check the legitimacy of a company.
The company can be allowed to determine the company by using the credit report service:
Governance / leadership structure
Number of years in operation
Previous legal decisions against the company
Using Customer Reviews to Determine Legitimacy
Use Google to search for the company name.
You can find reviews and other information about the company and whether it is a scam or not. If you do not see anything, then try the search terms: “[company name] scam”, and see what results come in this way. Although it is possible to manipulate a positive online presence, it is difficult to hide bad feedback.
Check the company’s customer reviews on consumer review platforms.
Unlike individual blogs, the Consumer Review Platform reflects the opinions of different customers and usually provides an unfiltered view of the overall reliability of the company. The Trustworthy Consumer Review Platform will not censor reviews in any way and will fight hard against the posting of counterfeit reviews.
Ask friends about their past experiences with the company.
Some of your best review resources are those people you live with, work with or play with them. Take time to ask your friends and family whether they have any experience with the company you are researching, and whether their experience was satisfactory or out of the ordinary.