Guarding Your Wallet: A Comprehensive Guide on Spotting E-commerce Fraud - From Source Code to Customer Feedback

Disclosure: Wadav is reader-supported. We may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
Updated: September 13, 2019
  • Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
Reading Time: 8 Min
Guarding Your Wallet: A Comprehensive Guide on Spotting E-commerce Fraud - From Source Code to Customer Feedback


A large number of people shop online in daily life, spending billions of dollars. There are a lot of different shops on the internet which offer different items. Some sell only specific items, while others sell general items, i.e., various categories. 


You get a wide range of stores to shop from. Shopping online is easy and convenient, but it’s also quite risky today. A variety of stores are conducting frauds with their customers in different ways. 


It is quite difficult to identify whether the website you are visiting is legitimate or not. It’s a natural question of whether you will be safe after buying from a certain store the first time.


Here, we have created a guide for online consumers on identifying that an e-commerce shop is a fraud.


  1. Source Code:


When you visit a webpage, right-click and view the source code. Professional web developers and designers create sites from scratch and manually. So if a sentence is written like “Created with HTML generator plus,” you might know something is not good.


  1. SSL:


In today’s World, SSL is not a difficult thing to get for any site. But still, it has some impact because it’s a secure socket layer and saves the data from hackers. Check if the site has a valid digitally signed SSL. If the site doesn’t have SSL, something might be wrong.


  1. Physical Information:


Check for the website’s physical address first; check if it’s valid. The store might be a fraud if the physical address is not listed.


  1. Contact information:


Check the store’s contact information. Check for a proper, complete mailing address rather than a contact form. Also, try to email them and check if there is any response from their side before giving an order.


  1. Verified payments:


Look for payment logos and check for the VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal. Check the company’s PayPal address. If possible, try to make payment via PayPal rather than a credit card, as it’s safer.


  1. Customer Feedback:


Take a look at the webpage and see the customer’s feedback. Check the age of the feedback and the customer's name if it’s legitimate, as feedback can also be given from fake profiles. Browse different review sites like Trustpilot and check for the reviews there. 


  1. Social Media:


Check the store’s social media pages also. See if the store is listed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. If not, then the store might not be legitimate.


  1. Whois:


When you run a store online, you need to provide the registration details of your company with the hosting company, which is an awesome online tool to check a website’s historical information and if the whois lookup details match with the details given on the website than the store might be safe to buy.



  1. Alexa:


Alexa allows you to check a website’s popularity, i.e., how much traffic is coming, from which country, etc. The store might be new and fraudulent if there is no or less traffic.


  1. Price Check:


Check the products/items' prices and compare the items with other sites or the manufacturer’s site. If the product is listed at quite a lower price than others, then there is a high chance that the site is a fraud since nobody can sell the item for $80 if he buys it for $100.


  1. Refund policy:


Check the store’s refund policy and see if it benefits the customer. If there is no proper refund policy, the site might be untrustworthy.


  1. Privacy policy:


Check for the website's privacy policy; the store is not legitimate if none is listed.


  1. Blocklist:


Check whether the website’s IP address is blocklisted after looking from whois. If blocklisted, the store/website might be a scam.


  1. Web Archive:


If a store/website claims they have been doing e-commerce business for ten years and are the most trusted one, do not trust them directly; instead, go to WebArchive. It lets you check how the website looked before, and you can identify whether the store is speaking the truth.



  1. Website Design:


Check the look and feel of the website; do not directly get attracted by the offers; instead, visit the site first properly. See if the site looks professional or not. See for the images. Are they with a logo or without the company’s logo? Is the language free from grammatical mistakes?  


By following this guide, you might be able to identify whether the site is legitimate. These tips do not guarantee that a website is safe, but when combined with all the points, there are high chances that you are dealing with a real/ trustworthy store.


Here is a list of some e-commerce sites that are conducting fraud and fooling customers:




The site copies the content from other websites and has no proper contact information

No proper contact email address. Just a simple contact form




No proper physical address. The map is just an image with quite low resolution.






No proper contact email address. Just a Contact Us form, no direct email address




No physical address, map, postal code, or city or country exists. You cannot know where the company is.