The Internet is filled with many wonderful sites and opportunities to make purchases you would otherwise not be privy to in your local area. Unfortunately, it could also be a place filled with fraudulent activity and scammers. In order to determine if a company you are dealing with is legitimate, there are a few steps you can take. You can check out a company’s legitimacy by examining their contact information, checking the whois database and performing research on major search engines.
When you are interested in making a purchase from a company, skip over the About Us section or any other information on the website and go straight to their contact page. If they do not have a contact page, steer clear of this company. You should also avoid companies that only have a Contact Us form but no identifying information. You should easily be able to find a physical address, phone number and email address. A local phone number is best and a physical address rather than a P.O. Box also gives an added level of security.
You should also look to see who owns the site. This can be done through the whois database. This will enable you to determine if the company actually is who they say they are on their website. Unless a domain name is registered privately, all identifying information will be available. If the domain is privately registered, it should raise more red flags because you still don’t have a way to contact the company, making you wonder exactly who is trying to capture your information on their website.
Search Engine Listings
You can search for identifying information in the major search engines on the company you are inquiring about as well. A quick search on the company name and phone number will turn up whether the company is who you think they are. In addition, you might find reviews or warnings from others to stay away from the company if they are a scam.
In order to protect yourself in the cyber world, it is important to find ways to ensure the company you are about to make a purchase from or provide your information to is legitimate. Luckily in today’s world, you can find out just about any information you need. Start by checking out a company’s contact information and determining if it is legitimate. In addition, you should check the whois database to determine who the real owners of the domain name are, as well as search on the major search engines to locate any reviews or scam alerts from other consumers.