Z7 Online Shop South Africa

Z7 Online Shop South Africa

How To Spot a Fake Online Store in 6 Easy Steps

1. Source code

When you go to a website, right click on it and view the source code. Most professional and trustworthy sites are built by webdesigners from scratch, so if you see there a sentence that looks more or less like this “Created with HTML Generator Plus”, it might be a sign that something’s fishy.

2. SSL

If a site asks for sensitive data (credit card details, home address etc.), make sure it’s encrypted with SSL. The easiest way to know if it is is by checking the URL – SSL protected sites start with https://

3. Detailed information

You can be alarmed if you can’t find any information on who the seller is, how to reach them, what kind of services they provide (if they offer tanning beds, angle grinders and fertilizer at the same time, you can expect that something’s off), the shop’s terms of service or privacy policy. It’s the same situation with the offered product/service – the more details and photos, the bigger chance it’s a reliable shop.

4.Safe payments

Look for payment companies logo (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Maestro). Shops that process online payments have gone through a scrupulous check up by financial institutions, so if they trust them, co can you!

5. Whois

Whois is a great tool for looking up historical information of any website – IP address, name server, registrar and screenshot history.

6. Alexa

Alexa lets you see a site’s popularity, other sites that link to it, queries that drive traffic to it and details about who visits the site (age, education, gender).

7. Page rank

PageRank is a numeric value that represents how important a page is on the web. When one page links to another page, it is casting a vote for the other page. The more votes that are cast for a page and the higher PR number, the more important the page is.

8. Blacklist

Fraud or spam websites can be blacklisted to warn others of a suspicious sites. If a site shows up once on a blacklist, it might be an error, but if it’s labeled as spam by majority of servers, then you can be pretty sure it is in fact one.

9. Webarchive

A company claims it’s been in the e-business for 10 years? Webarchive lets you check what the site looked like years ago and if the merchant is telling the truth.

10. Internet opinions

Not 100% trustworthy as merchants can write fake reviews, but googling for opinions is always a good idea. Some tools like Web of Trust even rate sites by their trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy and child safety. Now that millions of people use Facebook and Twitter, social media platforms are also a great source for others’ opinions. Some shops like to show off their ‘Verified Merchant’ badge given to them by their business partners to ensure the clients that they can be trusted.

If you are suspicious of a site, before finalising your purchase make sure to at least check a few of the steps described above – it might save you time, money and energy. Do you have any other tips? Let us know in the comments!


Z7 Online Shop South Africa

Z7 Online Shop South Africa

Shopping online is very convenient, but sometimes it’s difficult to know if the website you’re visiting is legitimate. It’s natural to question whether you’ll be safe when buying from a website for the first time. So, we’ve developed this quick tips list to help you stay safe when shopping online, and hopefully avoid any scams.

Z7 Online Shop South Africa

Contact details

A legitimate store will have contact details on its site. If it is just a web contact form, without an address, email, and phone number you should probably be wary. All genuine online stores will be happy to help with any query you have so, if you are buying for the first time, do get in touch to see if they are real.

Z7 Online Shop South Africa

Customer feedback

Take a look on the website to see if there are any customer reviews about the products or the company. Also, if you are uncertain, run a search for the name of the website and the words “scam” or “fake”. You’ll quickly find out if others have had bad experiences and you should steer clear.

Whois lookup

When you run a website, you typically supply the registration details to the organizations that regulates that domain name. You can enter the website address of the online store you’re browsing at the below link for .com websites, for example. This will let you know who has registered the site. If the details match the contact details listed on the website, then chances are it is safe to buy.


Website encryption measures

When you’re buying from a secure website you will always see the following in the address bar:


The padlock icon means that the site is using encrypted communications to secure any information you submit to it. The “s” in “https” also means that communications between the website and your computer or mobile are secure and encrypted. You should only buy from sites with “https” on their check-out page.

Google Safe Browsing

Google has developed a quick tool to check if the website you’re visiting is unsafe. Sometimes even legitimate sites have been comprised by hackers. You can visit the following link and enter the website you’re visiting to see if there are any issues with it:


Look and Feel

There are also some simple things you can do when you arrive on a website to check it’s real. The first is how professional the site looks. Is it well laid out? Are the images high-resolution? Is the language free from grammar and spelling errors? It’s down to you, but if you compare the site you’re on with one you already trust, you should be able to see if there are any differences.

With these tips, you should be able to tell whether a site is safe and genuine, or if it doesn’t look legitimate. No-one of these tips alone will guarantee a website is safe, but when combined, chances are you’re dealing with the real thing. If you have any other tips to help, please leave a comment below.

Z7 Online Shop South Africa