How do I recognize fake shops?

Fake shops often send e-mails on behalf of companies that are active in the field of the goods on offer. For example, for hygiene products such as protective masks, a trustworthy company is mentioned in the e-mail, which also supplies pharmacies. If you click on the link in the e-mail, however, you are redirected to a fake site, which is often indistinguishable from the real company site.

Please note the following points:

  1. offers that are too good to be true are often too. If a product has a much lower price than other suppliers, you should be careful.
  2. if you have received an email, check the email address. Fraudsters often send from an address that is similar to the real one, for example “[email protected]” instead of “[email protected]“.
  3. search the company name on a search engine and open the website displayed in the search results. Compare the website URL with the link in the email. If there is a difference, you should never make a payment.
  4. check the imprint. If the imprint is missing or incomplete, be careful.
  5. for companies, a telephone number is often mentioned in Google. If in doubt, call them and ask them whether the e-mail was really sent by the company.
  6. if you can only pay in advance, keep your distance if other items on the list are conspicuous.
  7. if seals of approval from TÜV Süd or Trusted Shops are displayed, please verify the authenticity of the seals by searching for the shop on the page of the seal exhibitors.
  8. use a search engine to look for ratings of the shop. Serious shops should have good ratings, for example on Google or
  9. do not rely on professional-looking e-mails or websites. Many fake shops are now very well made and cannot be distinguished from real shops in terms of appearance and operation.

If you have already paid to a supposed fake shop, contact the local police or Coded Investigators immediately.

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