Might Your Search Yield a Scam?

Do you ever look for products or information online by typing a word into a search engine? I do too. By now, I bet we both know there’s no guarantee that the first result will be the best one. Anyone can set up shop online with almost any name. You may get links to pages that are out-of-date, off-topic, or stocked with low-quality products. Here are some tips for your next search.

Double check each result. Look at the end of the web address. Does it say dot-com, dot-gov, dot-org or something else? A commercial site (.com) and a government site (.gov) offer very different content. Does the address include words that are slightly misspelled versions of brand names or familiar words? Those aren’t mistakes; they’re scam sites set up to draw your attention.

Use a specialty search engine or focus only on certain kinds of sites. That narrows your search and makes it more likely you’ll get useful responses. For example, child-oriented search engines perform limited searches or screen results to show only sites and material that are appropriate for kids. If you want health information, the FTC suggests you start with some trusted government sources.

If you find an interesting result and want to know more, type the company or product name, or even the website, into a search engine together with the words “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” See what comes up. Always use more than one source of information.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Thanks I have done this very thing , I now know better will do better and spread the word also.

If you have mcafee firewall it will show a green check next to real and secure websites. unless you really know the site, don't visit one without the green check! if you do by accident, mcafee will warn you by popping up a huge page that says "do you really want to go there?" if you don't have mcafee I suggest you get it. no, I don't work for them.

Very good. I teach a class on preventing online scams and as far as search results go, I mention just a few additional items. 1) The search result entries at the top are often ads which surfers must be aware of and be extra careful of the ABCs (Accuracy, Bias and Credibility). 2) To help identity potentially unsafe websites before the surfer clicks a search result link, a link scanner such as Web of Trust, BitDefender Trafficlight, McAfee Site Advisor or Norton SafeWeb can be helpful. 3) In addition to the words “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” you mention, I also include "fraud"

When are you going to investigate the horrific tactics of World Ventures? This is a total scam and a cult.

What are the issues and results of scam investigation of World Ventures?

when hiring a contractor be sure to ask for his license number.I hired a contractor after seeing his builders license but I didn't write down the number. It turned out to be a fraudulent license. The contractor never had a license but completed the work under this pretense. I had a contract with his business letterhead on it but didn'realize there was no license number on it until he didn't resolve the problems with the roof and I contacted my local building department. Before starting the job, the contractor asked me to apply for the building permit but I read somewhere that whoever applies for the permit is responsible for the work. When I told him to get the permit he said the cost was $300.00 and most people don't get one for a roof. (Cost was actually $50.00). I told the contractor I would be selling the house in the next couple years and I wanted it done right, with a permit. Never knew he didn't get it until my call to the building department well over a year later. The contractor never applied for the permit because he did NOT have a builder's license. I was scammed because I trusted him. Don't trust anyone doing work at your home without doing a thorough check of the contractor's background, including his license number. You can call your local building department for assistance or the government agency that oversees licensing, LARA.
It's four years later and I am still waiting to have the roofing problems resolved.

THIS ARTICLE IS RIGHT ON THE MONEY ! Wish my wife would read this. She never listens. Always buying something off the internet or getting involved in something WITHOUT doing her due diligence and researching the company/product first. Then a problem arises, I have to get involved and bail her out. A few minutes of searching the internet PRIOR would save me a ton of headaches, and as soon after I do, their are tons of complaints by other consumers. If it happened to her, it happened to someone else first and has been posted on the internet......every time without fail.

I filled out an online loan app, gave them all the info that they needed, so a few days later I got a call saying that I owe them on a loan that had the wrng acct number, it was a savings acct that has been close for a year, so now they have been harassing me and my job, wat can I do?

I'm tempted to say "what a load of crap!" just for the sake of irony, but I'll refrain

Great advice. I have a small junk removal business that I advertise on the web. I make sure not to ask for any credit card information or other financial data on my site. If I ever start taking payments online I will certainly get an SSL certificate.

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