RESEARCHING AND UNDERSTANDING LEGIT ONLINE BUSINESS PLATFORMS-THE BASICS
With the growing influence of the internet, the prevalence of online scams is increasing as well. There are fraudsters making all kinds of claims to trap victims online from fake investment opportunities to online stores and more recently fake crypto platforms and fake coins.
The internet allows them to operate from any part of the world with anonymity. The ability to spot online scams is an important skill to have as the virtual world is increasingly becoming a part of every facet of our lives.
The below tips will help you identify the signs which can indicate that a website could be a legit online business or scam.
Whenever anyone private chats you with any Crypto related business or any online business for that matter, or maybe you come across a business opportunity on social media etc, please do the following before venturing into any such business no matter who shared them with you.
CARRY OUT WHAT I TERMED PRELIMINARY TESTS
A. Copy the website domain name and head straight to www.whois.com and check if the domain has been recently registered with a few months to 1 year registration, or it’s a site registered for a long business operation for at least above 3 -5 years.
Domain names which have been registered for short periods of time, say, less than one year, might be suspicious because scammers don’t invest much money in their websites.They purchase domain names with short validity to keep their costs minimal.
Websites which have been created recently and have a short validity are more likely to be scams (except such website is a premium website Registered by big investors and organisations that are taking off as start ups.)
Note: What I also discovered in the course of my research that scammers are doing now is this; they go to buy old websites with good previous history which probably closed down their business, then they modify it or even register as a subdomain under such websites. So, it’s not enough to have an old website that has existed for a long time.
You must also find out if a domain name is a subdomain within a main domain name. For example, you could see thing like beta.jobs.com or mentor-jobs.com. Scammers do all these in order to leverage on old sites to present their scam businesses to people.
Any online business with domain registration of less than one year is most likely going to rug pull in a matter of weeks or months. WE HAVE SEEN THIS REPEAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
The scammers may also clone a real business site, but in such clones they will not used the exact domain name of the original business, they just modify the domain name e.g gcotp.com or business-afriqjmarbitrage.com etc in an attempt to mimic the original business.
Please be careful, we can not be fooled all the time, especially now. THIS IS INFORMATION AGE.
DO NOT BE DECEIVED BY PROMOTERS TELLING YOU HOW IT’S PAYING. THEY ARE DOING THAT JUST FOR COMMISSIONS. SO, BE CALM AND RUN THESE PRIMARY TESTS FIRST, IT MAY SAVE YOU FROM GETTING SCAMMED*
B. Take the website domain name to Scamdviser at scamdviser.com and search to find out it’s trust score based on certain indicators and public reviews.
Scamadviser reviews each website automatically for 40 different elements like who owns the website, are the contact details hidden?, where is the website hosted, what is the technology being used, and much, much more. Based on all the information gathered, they create a trust score.
For any site with a Trust score of below 70% on Scamdviser you should not be in a hurry to invest till you check the other indices too.
Next, still on Scamdviser’s page, scroll down to the highlights and check the ratio of positive to negative highlights about that particular site.
Pay special attention to what is said about the site with respect to it’s registrar being popular among scammers or not, and whether it is a subdomain in another main site as well as if it has been marked as unsafe for investment or hosted in a high risk environment. These are important pointers.
Scamdviser gives you idea of what several reviews say about the site and warns you about the risks therein. However, it is not enough to say that a business is scam. This is why scam Adviser will tell you to carry out more research.
C. Copy the domain name and go straight to Trustpilot at trustpilot.com and check the reviews of the site.
Trustpilot is an online review platform where users of a website can write a review based on their experiences. Businesses with a Trustpilot profile receive a numerical TrustScore from 1 to 5, based on how past customers have rated the business.
Most of these scam sites score zero or 1 on Trust pilot
Look out for reviews from 4 stars 4/5 or 5stars 5/5.
Please note: If a site is having issues of upgrade etc or hacked, there is usually panic and many angry investors will always go to write negative reviews and these determine what scores Trustpilot or Scamdviser will give the site at that moment.
Such scores will also increase the moment the site returns back to normal. TAKE NOTE OF THIS.
So to be safer in drawing your judgements consider whois.com as a great tool especially with respect to domain age as discussed earlier.
There are several other tools, but the 3 above will give you the early impression about a site, if it’s scam or not.