How To Identify Fake Companies Online
Posted by Richard on July 1, 2021
A cheap hoodie or fancy party dress may look like a bargain. But if you don’t recognize the company, look up the domain.
A domain is the name of the website, like: ThisIsADomain.com.
Domains are purchased from various online companies and they are hosted by other companies. They have an IP address, which is a series of numbers that indicate a specific server.
Go to: https://whois.domaintools.com and type in the domain name. You will get a full internet profile of the business.
Look for these hints:
1. IP history.
If you see that thousands of IP changes on one domain, beware. It may be normal for a legitimate business to have dozens or even hundreds IP addresses over a decade. But it isn’t normal to have thousands over a year.
2. The domain was created within the past year and it expires in a year.
Legitimate businesses will probably have an old creation date or at least a long-term expiration date. Legitimate businesses protect themselves by buying the domain for decades.
3. The registry is private.
Some legitimate businesses have private registrars. But legitimate businesses are not usually completely anonymous. You should see a legitimate address for information technology at a minimum. Scam businesses often register with a proxy company, but not all proxy registrations are frauds.
4. IP location is Shopify.
Many completely legitimate businesses have a Shopify address, but according to Time, Shopify has been much abused by scammers.
5. Review the “About Us” section. That should have a company address, but likely won’t. If it is a short sentence, google it. If you find many websites using the same phrasing, beware.