Do not waste your money on online con artists. You can use our tips to identify and avoid fake sites, frauds and fake screens. This is for both pages and apps accessed on smartphones and tablets as well as images that people send you to try to cheat you. It can be difficult to identify what is false and what is not, but a little research and our tips will help you.
Beware of fake apps and sites that offer too good deals
When you see very low prices at ridiculous discounts, you should be a bit suspicious. If prices seem too good to be true then sadly they probably are. Counterfeit websites use low prices to lure bargain-hungry shoppers into selling fake, fake, or non-existent items fast. Research well, especially if it’s an app offering these products and services. Search the site name, the offer, and see if it is trustworthy. Research the application before confirming purchases, and see if the app was before part of some fake screen blow. The more informed you are, the smaller the chances of you falling for a hit.
Never pay by bank transfer
If you are asked to pay for something online via a wire transfer, be wary, especially when there is no option for other types of payments. If you buy something that is false or non-existent with a credit or debit card, you have some rights to recover your money. But if you pay by bank transfer, there is very little that you can do to get your money back. Fake screen apps can display “credit card payment errors”, stealing your card information, and moreover using your willingness to buy to confirm a purchase with a bank transfer. Again, remember: search! A fake screen or a fake app can be anything a scammer needs to end his or her financial life.
Double-check the domain or app name to confirm the fake screen
Many fraudulent websites and apps use a domain name that refers to a well-known brand or product name. But it will not be the official website. For example, site domains with names pointing to promotions and discounts on products should always raise suspicions, with the same holds true for applications that do this. You should also be careful about domains that end in .net or .org, since they are rarely used for online purchases, so they may have been acquired by questionable organizations.
Another thing is to be careful with the fake application screen. If the app you’re using is very different from what you’re used to, go to the Play Store or search online to learn how the app really should look. If in doubt, pass an antivirus on your smartphone , uninstall the app, and reinstall before using.
Browse the app or website
Take a few minutes to check out the site. You may visit the home page or the “About Us” pages and read the text. Beware of a bad Portuguese, such as spelling mistakes and grammar, or phrases that do not sound right. This may mean that the site is not genuine and was created by someone abroad to make a quick profit. The same goes for apps. Fake apps are also often very slow and crash at various times.
You should also check if the site lists any contact information. Legitimate and reputable companies will always list ways to get in touch with them; If the site does not have a “Contact Us” page, it may be fraudulent. If the site has the “Contact us” page, but only offer one form to fill out, be careful as this may also indicate a dubious site. Any company that offers goods or services should list a business location as well as a phone number or email address through which to contact them.
If none of this information is available, you should treat the site as highly suspicious, as well as an app that does not provide any supporting information.
Check site or app returns policy
Read some online reviews about the app or website
See opinions on various sources and sites that aggregate customer complaints. Go to the Play Store and see what people are talking about the app. You should also check the company’s social media pages for recent activities and see what other people are posting on their social channels. Identify false ratings by paying attention to the following indicators:
1. Are there many oddly similar comments?
It should be a red flag if you notice a similarity in the reviews on various websites. When you read the reviews, you may notice an entire set that uses groupings of words and similar writing styles. This usually means that the reviewers are copying information or that the reviews were all written by the same person.
2. Are the reviewers all too young?
Beware of revisions to new accounts. Some of the reviews should be from long-standing members of the site. You may find that the person has reviewed hundreds of websites or apps, which gives them more credibility than someone who reviewed only one site.
3. Is the review not factual or overly factual?
Facts are important in a review; do not rely on a review if useful facts or information are light on the spot. Likewise, a comment that gives no personal opinion can be false and, in any case, not a great help.
4. Can you find just a few comments?
In that case, it is probably best to avoid a suspicious website or app.
Look for a padlock on the website
Most browsers show a green padlock next to the site URL and this is a useful way to see if a site is trusted. But this step should only be used in conjunction with other checks, just in case. Also check that the site starts with “https” in the address, which guarantees one more layer of security.
Screen for WhatsApp
Some applications allow you to create fake chat screens. When it’s for fun, it can even be fun. The problem is people who create fake conversations in WhatsApp and other apps to denigrate someone’s image or even to apply punches.
When someone sends you the print of some conversation, always be suspicious. Try to talk to the people involved in the conversation. If possible, ask the person to show the chat on the phone itself. In this way, the possibility of making a fake screen for the conversation can be ruled out.
How do you ensure safety when using smartphones and tablets?