The Internet has really left no part of our lives untouched, and that includes business. Whether you are addicted to online shopping, or you run your own website, or you have an online business, or you freelance for websites, you probably use the net for some business deal or the other. But every time you reach for your credit card and make a payment, how sure are you that you are not dealing with a fake website that will just disappear with your money without providing you the purchased product or service? Every time a freelancer bills a client website for services provided, how certain can they be that the website is authentic and actually means to pay?
Too many people have lost their hard earned money by putting their trust in bogus websites. This is actually a pity because a few simple and easy precautions can protect you from being defrauded over the net. Remember that the internet is a jungle of nameless and faceless people, many of whom are actually spending their productive hours thinking up ways to steal your money.
But there are after all some genuine service providers as well, but how do you distinguish between the good and the bad? Here are three easy ways you can find out if the online business in question is authentic. Be sure to follow these steps before you pour any money into an online business for the first time.
1. Try Googling the name
If the business in question has defrauded others in the past, you can be sure that various consumer sites are rife with complaints from other disgruntled customers. If you find no clue on Googling the name, try the name conjoined with the word ëscamí. An inauthentic online business is bound to be mentioned somewhere or the other in connection with fraud. Of course, even genuine businesses get people who post negative comments out of spite, but the sheer number of scam stories should convince you that something is fishy about the business.
2. Do a Retailer Search
Once you have done a general Google search, hammer on the specifics at Google Shopping, where customers rate their experiences with various online businesses. If the business inquestion has done a stinker, so to speak, in the past, you can be sure that you will find some mention of that fact here.
Alternatively, you could do a search on bizrate.com, where you will find customer reviews of most online businesses. Go through the reviews carefully and make your judgement
3. Use the Web Of Trust app
A very simple tool for checking vendor authenticity is the Web of Trust add on. Download this app and install it on to your device, and you will have access to the comments and reviews on thousands of other Web of trust users. If your vendors have been around for some time, it is pretty certain you will find their name in the rank lists and among the reviews. Be sure to upload your own experienced with vendors as well, so that other users can benefit.