Beware of scam websites
Posted on 03 April 2017
LIST UPDATED - APRIL 25
How to spot a fake website
Being a victim of a scam is never a pleasant experience. At Bikini N’ Waves, we invest in customer security data and try to help every buyer to be aware of numerous fake, fraudulent or phishing websites. They usually have a number of common traits to look for.
Here are some easy steps on how to determine if a website is a fake, fraud, or scam:
1. The Domain Name – A lot of fraudulent websites will use a domain name similar to a brand name. I have seen fake sites related to Calvin Klein, Nike, Buffalo, and more recently, Salomon. These domain names might be www.nikesuperdiscounts or www.buffalocollection or www.salomonshop (these are not real sites, but examples). If a company has a trademark on their name, their website usually matches the company name.
2. Check the Grammar and Spelling – If the fake website is attempting to present itself as an American or Canadian business, they will usually use English text. However, there will quite often be horrible grammar and spelling mistakes on the website. Many of these mistakes would be obvious to a native speaker of English; excessive use of poor grammar and spelling should be an instant red flag.
3. Offer too good to be true – When you see very low prices with ridiculous discounts, you should be a bit suspicious. If prices seem too good to be true then, sadly, they probably are. Scam websites use low prices to lure bargain-hungry shoppers to quickly sell fake, counterfeit or non-existent items.
4. Never pay by bank transfer – Alarm bells should ring if you are asked to pay for something online via a bank transfer. If you buy something that turns out to be fake or non-existent with a credit or debit card, you do have some rights to get your money back. But if you pay by bank transfer, there’s very little you can do to get your cash back.
5. Check the WHOIS – Do a domain WHOIS lookup to see who owns the domain. The result will tell you the registrar (company that the domain was purchased through), when it was created, when it expires as well as contact details. Although the fraudulent website did not tell me their contact details on the website; using the Webnames WHOIS lookup, I was able to confirm that the domain was owned by a company in China, not the running shoe company located in the U.S.
6. Check the reviews posted by others – some scam websites are known to pay people to let favorable reviews on certain platforms for their business. If you see a discrepancy between reviews, such as many 1 start and 5 stars, it probably is a not trusted website to buy from.
7. Check if the Login, Create Account, and Payment Pages are Secure – Many fake or fraudulent sites will not bother to buy an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. SSL certificates secure the transfer of your data when you submit sensitive information (creating an account, or submitting payment info) and cost money. A scam site, quite often, won’t bother with an SSL certificate, as the site will likely be shutdown within a couple months after the fraud has been reported. If the website is legitimate and secure, like Webnames, they will have HTTPS on the URL and a lock icon.
8. Check with TrustPilot – Go to TrustPilot.com website and see if the company has any reviews. Doing business with a site that has good or no reviews is better than one with many negative reviews. Like always though, buyer beware.
Here are some websites that caught our eye in the hunt for unreliable and definitely ‘’DO NOT SHOP’’ at:
Report and let us know if you come across a scam site that is not on our list.