How to spot a fake online shop

Safer Internet Day – spreading online safety tips and advice

Safer Internet Day is celebrated every year in February. It’s a day when organisations help to raise awareness about online safety issues, to educate and empower not just children, but also give parents the extra knowledge they need to use the internet safer and better protect their children.

With this in mind, ECC-Net has put together tips on ‘how to detect a fake online shop’ to help young people be more aware of certain risks involved in shopping online. Log on and use the internet safely while following this six tips:



Here are some more tips in relation to protecting your personal information when online:

  • Read the small print – when downloading new apps or signing up to a new website, make sure to read the terms and conditions or any small print. Consumers should pay particular attention to privacy settings, especially when using social networking websites.
  • Be cautious when making in-app purchases – certain apps, such as games, allow consumers to make in-app purchases for credits or special features. However, these can lead to costly bills if they are not monitored.
  • Phone security – smartphones are not always as secure as traditional PCs or laptops. For this reason, it is advisable to avoid accessing sensitive information (such as banking) when using a public or unsecured WiFi network.
  • Use a secure payment method – When purchasing online, consumers are encouraged to use secure methods of payment (for example, a credit card or PayPal) as these can provide greater protection if something goes wrong.
  • Avoid buying counterfeit goods – The sale of counterfeit goods is illegal and can have links to organised crime. If you are making a brand name or designer purchase online but you’re not certain about the seller, it is a good idea to contact the company directly to check whether the website is a verified seller. Consumers should be wary of websites offering expensive items at significantly reduced prices as these may not be authentic.
  • Beware of disreputable free trials – some free trial offers may be fronts for costly subscription services which can leave consumers greatly out of pocket.