Deals on Christmas Presents: Watch Out For Fake Shopping Sites

A good deal should be a genuine deal. More often than not, it is a good deal. Though have you checked reviews, the brand credibility, typical sales and if the web site is direct or through a middle man. Lots of comparison sites exist like and  and these are worth checking as they are run by pros.

But how do you watch out for the ones that are not legally selling Christmas presents.

With more people shopping online than ever before, it’s not surprising that many online criminals want to take advantage of vulnerable shoppers. Before you make a purchase, follow these tips to make sure you don’t fall prey to fake online shopping websites.

Double Check the URL

Some phishers try to hide a fake website behind a familiar brand. Always remember that anything that comes before .com is part of the domain. Cybercriminals will take a real company name and tag the rest of their phony domain name at the end.

Other URLs will look familiar but include extra numbers or a misspelt word. As a rule of thumb, stay cautious of shopping sites that end in .org or .net. Always read the URL carefully.

Browse the Website

Don’t only shop from one page. Instead, browse the entire website. Fake online shopping websites usually look real, but it’s only a facade. Once you dig deeper, you may discover that other webpages on the site are incomplete or missing entirely.

Look for Security Indicators

You need to make sure your personal information is encrypted when making a purchase. Only buy from HTTPS sites and not HTTP. The ‘S’ shows the website is secure. You can also look for a padlock next to the website’s URL. Most encrypted websites now carry this padlock. Never trust your financial information on an unsecured website.

Check for Trust Seals

Many reputable shopping sites have 3rd party trust seals. These recognizable icons show that the site is trustworthy. However, not every trust seal is real. If you have doubts, try clicking on the icon, and it should redirect you to an SSL certificate. You can also contact the trust seal company to check the validity of the site.

Review Accepted Forms of Payment

When buying from a new or suspicious website, you need to be safe when choosing a form of payment. Run away from sites that only accept bank transfers. If the site turns out to be fake, you risk having your bank account information stolen. It’s also more difficult to get your money back. Paying with a credit card offers you many additional security options.

Google the Site

That’s right, a simple Google search can help you figure out if a site is real or fake. Copy and paste the URL into the safe browsing transparency search, and Google will give you an assessment of the site. This is a fool-proof way to determine if you can really trust a certain website or not.

Don’t become a victim of identity theft or phishing. Do your research before making an online purchase for Christmas presents. These tips will help you avoid fake online shopping websites and become a safe online shopper.