How to spot websites selling counterfeit goods

There are usually several simple ways to help you spot a site selling fakes:

  1. Look for grammar and spelling errors on the websites. Be suspicious of deeply discounted prices.
  2. Find where the domain is registered. Check where the lender is really located - if their address has been left out/withheld be suspicious. Many websites selling fake items have their domains registered in China.
  3. Look at the "contact us" section, if there's no physical address or working phone number, beware.
  4. Make sure if you are giving financial information it is over a secure site. Look for "https" (rather than "http") when submitting payment information. Also look for a highlighted lock symbol in your web browser.
  5. Consider using a separate credit card with a lower spending limit for online purchases. If your credit card information is taken, it may be easier to cancel.
  6. Use a gift card to make online purchases. Credit card companies like VISA offer credit cards for lower cash amounts.
  7. Be extremely wary if asked to send any payment abroad by any money transfer system such as Ukash, Western Union or any other.
  8. Research the website you are considering using - look at online forums for any information. Fraudsters can push a fake web site high up on web search lists. Check the URL as fraudsters change the address very slightly to include the brand or product name. Also, a website address ending in does not necessarily mean the site is based in the UK.

If you have spotted or believe a trader in Coventry is supplying fake goods or selling foreign labelled or duty free goods such as cigarettes, please use our online reporting form or use the Anonymous Hotline: 0300 303 2636.


Fake or counterfeit items

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