How do you identify trustworthy websites? Watch

Starksail
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#1
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Hey everyone,

I’m into ordering online and a couple of times I have stumbled upon sites that looked trustworthy, but ended up being a scam and the other way around. Here are a few examples:

1) I wanted to order a bathing suit from a website "cupshe", but after checking it on Scam Adviser, I was glad that I didn’t place an order. The funny thing is that the site looked pretty credible to me, for example, they accept PayPal or so it says.

2) I wanted to order a doorbox from a website "sandman" and Scam Adviser showed that the trust rating ishigh, however, the usability of the site told me otherwise. Especially after finding a product there with this description: “Power from the Phone Company tooperate everyday items that you have to use - even if the power is out”. I started to doubt everything that I thought made a site trustworthy.

So PLEASE help me to complete this list on how to check sites for their credibility and avoid being scammed (P.S. where else do you check sites other than Scam Adviser/Alexa?).

Here is what I’ve came up with so far:
- whether they have a secure connection SSL;
- a business e-mail, toll-free number, live chat;
- trust certificates (I know of the Verisign, BBB Accredited business, any other suggestions?).

Thanks in advance people!
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Mr Easy
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Hey there,

So you're on the right tracks! Checking their Alexa rating, TrustPilot score (if they have one) and SSL certificate are all key factors in finding out if a website is credible. But you know one factor that's always overlooked?

Social media. Check their Twitter and Facebook pages. Are they actively interacting with customers? Do they have 150,000 fans but no one posting to their page? Social media is a great way to find out how people feel about a brand, even if you pop in their name after a hashtag on twitter, it'll show you what people are saying about it. Most people review or talk to companies when they're angry, so you can see how they handle agitated customers and whether they're worth your time. Also, don't ever be fooled by PayPal logos or 'secure payments' images...they're so easy to find on Google and paste right into a webpage.

Hope that helps!
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Mad Vlad
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(Original post by Starksail)
Hey everyone,

I’m into ordering online and a couple of times I have stumbled upon sites that looked trustworthy, but ended up being a scam and the other way around. Here are a few examples:

1) I wanted to order a bathing suit from a website "cupshe", but after checking it on Scam Adviser, I was glad that I didn’t place an order. The funny thing is that the site looked pretty credible to me, for example, they accept PayPal or so it says.

2) I wanted to order a doorbox from a website "sandman" and Scam Adviser showed that the trust rating ishigh, however, the usability of the site told me otherwise. Especially after finding a product there with this description: “Power from the Phone Company tooperate everyday items that you have to use - even if the power is out”. I started to doubt everything that I thought made a site trustworthy.

So PLEASE help me to complete this list on how to check sites for their credibility and avoid being scammed (P.S. where else do you check sites other than Scam Adviser/Alexa?).

Here is what I’ve came up with so far:
- whether they have a secure connection SSL;
- a business e-mail, toll-free number, live chat;
- trust certificates (I know of the Verisign, BBB Accredited business, any other suggestions?).


Thanks in advance people!
Anyone can get an SSL/TLS certificate for as little as £30. The presence of the little padlock just says that your data is encrypted in transit between you and the remote server. It makes absolutely zero guarantee that your data is going to be treated securely on the far end, nor does it signify the reputation of the vendor and unfortunately the media has trained lay-people to believe that this means the website is completely above board.
Anyone can buy a domain and most people who buy hosting get email. Anyone can get a Toll Free number. Anyone can be on the end of an IM client.
"Trust certificates" are the same as SSL/TLS certificates. You trust that the server you're communicating with is who it says it is because the CA that issues its cert trusts it (because the owner has paid £30).
The acceptance of PayPal as a payment method provides no guarantee that the vendor is legitimate.

Accreditations and trade body memberships are more useful, but it's then a question whether you trust the accreditor/trade body (and you should always verify the membership on accreditor's website and not take the fact that the website has just put a .jpg of the logo on the page)

Basically, do research until you are satisfied they are above board.
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Starksail
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Thank you so much for your answers! Although after I’ve finished reading them, they got me thinking: as I see it if a website wants to rip people off then why spend any money on content, SSL, chat and real certificates (not the .jpg images as you have Mad Vlad mentioned)? They are just greedy after all.

I couldn’t agree more about the social networks, scam websites could be avoiding social networks altogether since it involves content creation and interaction with customers. Because they don’t care about the customers, they view them as pinatas full of money. So if a company is just starting out it couldn’t possibly have at least a thousand of followers who interact with them. I am sure there are tons of new good companies who have only couple of followers, but are trustworthy.

Because if you compare activity vs. domain registration date and the activity appears to be just too much, it could mean that this particular website is just buying all those comments, likes, and reviews. Although this is silly if following my “greedy” theory.

So I mean we can’t all buy from the world famous brands only, how would a young website prove that its trustworthy, real and reliable without accreditations/body memberships and without at least a thousand of followers who comment and like posts?
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Mad Vlad
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(Original post by Starksail)
Thank you so much for your answers! Although after I’ve finished reading them, they got me thinking: as I see it if a website wants to rip people off then why spend any money on content, SSL, chat and real certificates (not the .jpg images as you have Mad Vlad mentioned)? They are just greedy after all.
Conversion rate. It's the whole idea of a "Big Store" scam - if it looks legit enough people will believe it.

I couldn’t agree more about the social networks, scam websites could be avoiding social networks altogether since it involves content creation and interaction with customers. Because they don’t care about the customers, they view them as pinatas full of money. So if a company is just starting out it couldn’t possibly have at least a thousand of followers who interact with them. I am sure there are tons of new good companies who have only couple of followers, but are trustworthy.
Undoubtedly.

Because if you compare activity vs. domain registration date and the activity appears to be just too much, it could mean that this particular website is just buying all those comments, likes, and reviews. Although this is silly if following my “greedy” theory.

So I mean we can’t all buy from the world famous brands only, how would a young website prove that its trustworthy, real and reliable without accreditations/body memberships and without at least a thousand of followers who comment and like posts?
With difficulty.
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