The first mistake isn’t falling for the scam, but failing to fully and accurately research the business or product. Sure, type in a search engine the name of a business and see positive results. Can it still be a scam? Most definitely. But how is that so? Easy!
Experienced scammers can simply write positive content about themselves. It’s quite easy and mostly free to write positive articles on. Take Google reviews for example. An individual can simply make several Google accounts and rate their own business five stars. So how can you truly identify a phony? That’s actually easy.
Check the reputation of the business on a reliable website
Most people don’t even think about it, but the Better Business Bureau can provide information upon request about a particular business. You can even search for “Rip Off Reports” and visit http://www.scamadviser.com, where many individuals have left feedback about almost every website and scam out there.
Check to see if the business has a Doing Business As (DBA) license
Most websites won’t display their DBA, but most will have a license number, especially if it deals with financial information. It’s normally posted somewhere on the website or at times available upon request. If you don’t see a license number or aren’t provided one, don’t take a chance.
View the website for contradicting information or incomplete sections
It’s not always the case, but some scammers will misspell words on their website, leave important sections incomplete, not give enough detail in the about section and won’t use emails ending in a company domain. Small businesses are of course important, email domains can be expensive, but still keep this in mind.
Observe how many employees seem to be working for the company
If you’re only talking to the same person repeatedly or are refused to be transferred to another employee, chances are there are no other employees and this can be a sign of a lone wolf working a scam. Some small businesses only function with limited employees, so not every company with limited employees is a scam.
Are you viewing pictures on their website all downloaded from Google?
A lot of companies take pride in posting real photos of their company and employees. If you’re not seeing any real photos or a limited amount, stay on alert!
We hope that more internet users can stay safe online with this information. Be sure to stay on alert and always pull out of a business deal if you feel something isn’t right. Chances are, it’s not.