Protecting your business online: How to deal with fake ecommerce sites

On the internet, where opportunities seem to be endless, there are dangers that can go unnoticed, such as fake ecommerce sites. Fake ecommerce sites are fraudulent web pages that imitate legitimate online stores, created by criminals to trick users and steal personal or financial information.

On the internet, where opportunities seem to be endless, there are dangers that can go unnoticed, such as fake ecommerce sites. Fake ecommerce sites are fraudulent web pages that imitate legitimate online stores, created by criminals to trick users and steal personal or financial information.

These digital traps are cleverly designed and pose a serious threat to both retailers and consumers. What makes these sites so dangerous is the fact that they target consumer trust. The repercussions of this, both for deceived buyers and legitimate retailers, can be very negative.

Check out what these fake sites are, why retailers should be aware of this growing problem, and how to defend themselves against increasingly sophisticated scams. It's time to shed light on this topic and ensure that your presence in the digital world remains secure and reliable.

What are fake websites?

To defend yourself against fake ecommerce sites, you first need to understand what they are and how they operate. These sites are, in essence, false representations of legitimate online stores, created with the intention of deceiving and deceiving users. The main strategy used by these criminals is what is known as “phishing”.

The term "phishing" is a combination of "fishing" with the prefix "ph," which denotes something false or fraudulent. In simple terms, phishing is a fraudulent technique in which scammers attempt to "fish" for personal, confidential, and financial information from unsuspecting people by pretending to be legitimate entities.

Phishing began in the 1990s, when the first attacks of this type began to emerge. The first documented case of phishing occurred when hackers sent fake emails to America Online (AOL) customers, pretending to be legitimate company employees and requesting personal information.

Since then, phishing has evolved significantly in terms of sophistication and methods. But the ultimate goal of phishing remains the same: tricking victims into revealing confidential information such as passwords, credit card numbers and banking information to carry out the scam. When it comes to ecommerces, they disguise themselves as reputable online stores, offering tempting products at seemingly irresistible prices. However, in addition to providing personal information, these customers pay for products they will never receive.

Why should retailers care?

The answer to this question lies in the far-reaching implications that these scams can have for legitimate brands and companies. When a customer is scammed by a fake website imitating a brand, that brand's reputation is at stake. Once customer trust is shaken, it can be a difficult task to restore it.

Not only does the consumer lose faith in the counterfeit brand, but they may also associate the negative experience with the genuine company. This can result in the loss of customers and, consequently, affect the financial results. Furthermore, scammers can still make threats and demand to remove the fake website from the air.

How to protect yourself against these scams?

Check out the main measures to consider protecting yourself against fake ecommerce sites:

Identifying the signs of a fake website:

One of the most effective strategies for defending against fake ecommerce sites is the ability to identify the telltale signs of a fraudulent site. Here are some tips for recognizing suspicious features on websites:

  • Examine the URL: Fake websites often feature URLs with subtle misspellings or different domain extensions than usual.
  • SSL Certificate: Make sure the website has a valid SSL certificate, indicated by a lock icon in the address bar.
  • Extremely attractive offers: Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true. If something seems too good, it could be a trap.
  • Grammatical errors: Fake websites often contain spelling and grammar errors. Pay attention to these details.
  • Legitimate contact information: Make sure the site provides real, easy-to-find contact information.

Reporting imitation sites:

When you identify suspicious activity on websites, you have several options for reporting it. One of them involves the use of the public platform, created to receive complaints online. The procedure is relatively simple:

  • Go to the website, available at this address.
  • Log in using your account.
  • Locate the company related to your complaint.
  • On the company page, click on the "Register complaint" option.
  • Provide details about what happened and fill in the requested information.
  • Complete the process by submitting the complaint.

After submission, you will receive a response via email. Another alternative for reporting suspicious websites involves issuing an Electronic Bulletin or contacting the Hotline, accessible via number 181.

Guidance for customers:

By educating consumers about the importance of verifying the authenticity of a website before making online purchases, it is possible to strengthen the collective defense against fake ecommerce sites. Here are some guidelines that can be shared with clients:

  • Be wary of surreal offers: Remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it could be a trap.
  • Buy from trusted stores: Choosing well-known ecommerce sites, with good reviews, and checking payment methods are important practices
  • Check the URL: Before making a purchase, thoroughly examine the website's URL to ensure it is legitimate and safe.
  • Keep passwords secure: Encourage customers to use strong, unique passwords for each online account.
  • Report suspicions: Encourage consumers to report any suspicious websites they find to the appropriate authorities.

Protect your business with Brand Protection by ClearSale

Do you want to protect your company from fake websites and other cyber threats? Then you need to adopt a reliable fraud protection solution. ClearSale's Brand Protection is the market-leading solution designed to ensure ongoing protection of your brand against phishing, fake social media, data leaks, counterfeit products, and other scams. Learn more about Brand Protection by ClearSale and ensure more security for your brand at all layers of the internet.