Tips for customers
How CAN YOU RECOGNISE a FAKE OR fraudulent website? How can you tell iF an ONLINE STORE is TRUSTWORTHY OR NOT?
10 tips from AK Austria (Austrian Chamber of Labour):
- If you use a search engine and the branded product appears in the hit list under the name of the website with the addition of "super cheap”, "free shipping”, or similar, this often indicates an untrustworthy seller.
- Compare the contact information on the seller’s website with the information that was provided when the domain was registered. You can do this by using a "Whois" domain query (available on websites such as nic.at, denic.de, or whois.com).
- Read customer reviews of the seller and entries in Internet forums.
- Check whether the seller is listed as an official dealer on the brand manufacturer's website and whether there are warnings there against fraudulent websites.
- Compare the price with the one in the official online store. Overly cheap offers are an indication of fraud.
- Compare the company logo with that of the branded product.
- Be wary of poor design, incorrect language, and inadequate imagery on the seller's website. Legitimate brand manufacturers can afford good layouts.
- If a seal of approval is indicated on the seller's website, check whether you can find this store on the website of the organisation issuing the seal of approval.
- Read the terms and conditions to see if your consumer rights are respected.
- Choose payment methods where you can reverse your purchase transaction (e.g., payment by credit card).
Furthermore, we do not recommend following direct links from social media such as Facebook. Companies that offer fake goods at super bargain prices often "hide" there.