How to spot fake online shops

Follow these easy steps to identify potentially fraudulent and scam online shopping websites that try to sell inexistent products, replica or counterfeits. If you found these advices useful do not hesitate to share this page on social networking websites so your friends and other users may find this useful.


  • Make sure the website uses HTTPS://

    SSL Enabled

    It is very important that when you type your name, surname, email but also when you need to type the payment and shipping details, the connection is encrypted with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) so when the data is transmitted to the remote server, it is encrypted and other users or malware applications cannot (easily) capture/sniff the traffic.

    Do you need a cheap SSL certificate ? Click here »

  • Find information about the company name

    Company Information

    Shopping websites should always show detailed information about the company that is behind the website, because this way they will be more trustworty and you have to know who will receive your money. It is important to see the company name, the location, the address and the telephone number in the footer or in the contacts/about page.

  • Avoid websites that use free email providers

    Free Email Address

    Most fake shopping website make use of free email providers, such as @hotmail.com or @gmail.com or @yahoo.com and this is not good for a legit online shop, because it is a symptom of potentially unreliability, instead they should use non-free email addresses, such as info@websitename.com to increase the level of trustworthy.

  • The e-commerce website should show the VAT ID

    VAT Number

    If the company is located in Europe, the shopping website should always show the VAT / IVA registration number to make sure the user can verify the company identity, if you do not see information about the VAT / IVA ID, the company address, the company email address and the telephone number, you should become suspicious. Read more info here.

  • Don't be fooled by very low and crazy prices

    Low Prices

    One trick used by fake online shopping websites to attract users is to show very low prices on all products, so this way users may be more willing to pay. Generally if you see a website selling items with a discount of more than 60% then the website's owner may be potentially located in China and the item may be potentially a counterfeit or inexistent.

  • Always try to contact the website's owner

    Send Email

    Before buy something from an unknown website you should always try to contact the website's owner by email and ask him/her where are located their officies, ask him/her if you can visit them in person to buy the items, ask them a telephone number to verify the prefix, make sure also to check the English grammar of the email response.

  • Always verify the reliability of trust seals

    Trust Seals

    Fake online shops are known to fool users by displaying, in the footer or in the header of the website, images of trust seals, for example "VeriSign Secured", "McAfee SECURE", "Accredited Business", etc. Make sure to always verify these trust seals, the images should always be clickable and redirect the user to the seal safety report, example for Amazon.