Don’t Fall Victim; Protect Yourself From Fake Online Stores.

Online stores have increased greatly in recent years as a result of the digital revolution. The increase in computer literacy has increased people’s awareness of online purchases.

For instance, the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, the United States said that the share of shopping that consumers do online has been growing for years. It added that E-commerce sales hit about $1.03 trillion in 2022. This figure represents an improvement of 7 percent if compared to the year 2021. 

However, fraudsters are operating fake shopping websites,taking advantage of the growth of digital technology to float a number of fake stores on the internet. These fraudulent websites are meant to trick naive consumers into making purchases, only to never receive the goods or face poor-quality products.

Statistics of Figures of Victims

According to an analysis by BanklessTimes, the advent of e-commerce has led to an increase in fraudulent activities. It should be noted that online transactions increased tremendously because of the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The activities of scammers increased during the pandemic.

The BanklessTimes report also said that countries in Latin America and Asia-Pacific recorded the highest number of fraudulent online stores in 2021.

A report by Wire 19 also said that about 47% of social media users have fallen victim to online shopping scams.

AARP in 2022 surveyed 2,012 U.S. consumers who were 18 years and older. The respondents said that they experienced fraud when trying to purchase a product online.

This article will make you aware of various ways in which you can spot fake stores online, ensuring that you experience safe and secure shopping online.

How to Spot Fake Stores:

1: Trust Your intuition.

When browsing through online stores to make transactions, it’s important to be suspicious and trust your gut. For instance, if a website seems unprofessional, sketchy, or too good to be true, it probably is. If you trust your intuition and exercise caution, you can avoid making purchases from such sites.

2: Check for Secure Browsing:

A real and reliable online store will have a secure browsing connection, which can be easily identified by the presence of “https://” in the website URL. This indicates that your data is encrypted and protected from potential threats. 

3: Contact Information

Legitimate online stores will always provide clear and accessible contact information, including a physical address, phone number, and email address. A lack of contact information or vague details should raise red flags and indicate a potential fake store.

4: Read Customer Reviews:

One of the most effective ways to determine the credibility of an online store is by reading customer reviews. Genuine reviews give you valuable insights into the quality of products and the overall shopping experience. 

If a store has overwhelmingly negative reviews or if the reviews seem too good to be true, it’s best to steer clear. Checking review is very important because of the presence of many fake retail websites. 

5 Evaluate the Website Design.

Pay close attention to the design and layout of the online store’s website. Legitimate businesses invest in professional website design to ensure an optimal user experience. Poorly designed websites with clashing colors, outdated graphics, and broken links may indicate a fake store.

6: Look out for Bogus And Unrealistic Discounts

While discounts are a common marketing strategy, excessively low prices should raise suspicion. If a store offers prices that are significantly lower than the market average, it’s likely too good to be true and may be a fake store attempting to lure unsuspecting buyers.

7: Check for Social Media Presence

Most reputable businesses have an active presence on social media platforms. Check if the online store has social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Genuine stores will engage with their customers, share updates, and respond to queries. A lack of social media presence is often a sign of a fake or fraudulent store.

8: Research the Domain Name

Conduct a quick search on the domain name of the online store to gather more information. Look out for any complaints or warnings from other users who may have encountered fraudulent activities associated with the store.

9: Use Trusted Payment Methods.

When making a purchase online, use trusted payment methods such as PayPal or credit cards. These payment options provide a layer of protection and allow you to dispute charges if you encounter any issues with a fraudulent store.

10: Verify SSL Certificates:

SSL certificates are essential for secure online transactions. Before making a purchase, verify the SSL certificate of the online store. You can do this by clicking on the padlock icon displayed in the browser’s address bar. If the SSL certificate is invalid or missing, it’s a clear indication of a potential fake store.


As online shopping continues to grow, it’s crucial to be vigilant and cautious when making purchases. By following the ways mentioned above, you can detect and avoid fake stores, ensuring a safe and pleasant online shopping experience. 

Remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Stay informed, trust your instincts, and protect yourself from falling victim to fraudulent online stores. 

Also, make haste to report fake online stores to relevant platforms for people to be aware so as to stop others from falling victims

Author: pqrmedia
I am a professional journalists with years of experience. My aim in life is to educate people through well researched contents

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