The subtle signs you should look out for to spot a fake shopping website

Posted at 6:23 AM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 21:14:59-05

7 Action News Reporter Ameera David works around the clock to keep you up to date on the top scams swindling metro Detroiters out of their hard -arned money, and that's why she was surprised when she missed the signs while shopping online and got swindled herself.

She was shopping on the House of CB website, and didn't think twice when she put her credit card info in.

The UK-based retailer has a long list of celebrity customers, and she was excited when she found some stellar online Cyber Monday sales.

After purchasing the items, they never arrived, and that's when she reached out to the company.

"I got this here – there are no orders with House of CB under this email address," David said.

How did she fall for it? Turns out, she was duped by a fake site that has an uncanny resemblance.

The similarities of the pages are incredible – same dresses, same models – essentially, the photos on the real site were ported to the fake site.

After getting scammed, she noticed a few suspicious differences. The URLS weren't the same, the contact for the fake site had an Outlook email address, and the word "address" wasn't spelled correctly.

Lauren Blankenship with the Better Business Bureau said the lookalike websites are probably the top scam.

"Check and make sure there is a lock symbol," Blankenship said.

Websites will show a padlock next to the URL if the connection is secure. If it's not there, that's a red flag. But just because it is there doesn't mean you're in the clear. Now, scammers are faking that as well.

"Google the website yourself – never put in one you got off social media," Blankenship said.

Also, do a reverse image search on the photos and see if they pop up anywhere else. Look for inconsistencies or grammatical errors, and beware if the site only accepts payment through debit or Paypal.